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Post-coup decline in economy a worry for most Thais: survey

May 20. 2017
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By THE SUNDAY NATION

MOST Thais have noted a decline in the country’s economic situation and overall well-being under the post-coup government over the past three years, according to the results of a public opinion survey released yesterday.

Respondents also hoped that in the months before the next election, the junta would do better in improving the economy and tackling bread-and-butter issues.

The Suan Dusit Poll was conducted between Monday and Friday, canvassing 1,264 respondents across the country.

While more than three-quarters of the people surveyed saw the economy as stagnant and nearly 84 per cent called for steps to improve the situation, almost 74 per cent were happy with the junta’s success in ending political street protests.

More than 70 per cent also said that there had been some improvement in curbing corruption over the past three years.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents acknowledged the junta’s efforts to regulate order in society and their success in cracking down on forest encroachment and reclaiming forests from people illegal occupying land.

People said there had been some progress since the 2014 coup in following the road map to democracy (55 per cent) and carrying out the reform plans, including the development of the fundamental structure (53 per cent).

But, decline was seen in some areas, according to the poll. Besides the ailing economy, about 72 per cent of the respondents noted a decline in law enforcement and more restrictions of |freedom.

Almost 70 per cent also complained of a drop in the price of agricultural products.

Other areas of public concern were deterioration in governance as well as government expenditure (61 per cent) and increasing violence in the South (58 per cent).

About 83 per cent of poll respondents hoped the government would look into welfare relief for sick and unemployed people.

Nearly three-quarters said they expect less corruption, while more than 71 per cent said they wanted to see the government follow the road map and nearly 71 per cent expected legal |amendments to make punishments fair and |proportionate.

Meanwhile, Democrat Party deputy spokesman Pramuan Empia yesterday disputed a claim by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that its performance over the past three years was “satisfactory”.

He said a weak economy, resulting from the people’s poor purchasing power, seemed to be the major problem.

Pramuan called on the government’s economic team to “descend from its ivory tower” and find out for themselves the economic problems people on the streets face.

 

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