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Most people want election next year but not sure that Thai politics will change: polls

Sep 17. 2017
Last August's referendum vote on the junta-drafted charter
Last August's referendum vote on the junta-drafted charter
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By The Nation

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Most people want the general election to happen by September next year, according to results of a Super Poll released on Sunday. But the majority are not sure how the new charter will shape the future government.

Of the 1,480 people surveyed nationwide, 55 per cent wanted elections by next September while the rest wanted them later. The poll was conducted September 5-16.

Asked which party they would vote for, more than 32 per cent favoured the longstanding Democrat Party, while only 19 per cent named the Pheu Thai Party. Almost 28 per cent were expecting to support a new party not yet formed, and more than 20 per cent remained undecided.

“Still, the next questions are, will a winning party manage to become the government?,” said Super Poll managing director Noppadon Kannika. “Also, how will a future government administer the country under the new constitution?”

“Our initial in-depth study showed that most people still have no idea about what the post-election scenarios could be.”

Meanwhile, results from Suan Dusit poll also released on Sunday showed that most people feel indifferent about Thai politics and believe it is still too early to predict when the next general election would actually take place.

Of the 1,109 people surveyed, almost 48 per cent said that the election might not be held as promised, whoever won the election would not make significant changes in the political arena, and that corruption would continue.

More than 32 per cent, however, believed that the junta’s so-called road map to elections, a long-term administrative plan, and lessons learned in the recent path have led to improvements in Thai politics. 

Around 30 per cent said that the nation’s politics have worsened due to deep-rooted conflicts, the continuing presence of the same old political faces and economic problems that remain unsolved.

Asked what they were most interested in, almost 82 per cent focused on when the election would be scheduled, 68 per cent kept watch for any possibility of a so-called opposition-free “national government”, and almost 56 per cent paid close attention to enactment of the new organic laws that accompany the constitution.

Asked what they thought about these issues, more than 74 per cent replied that they are important to the country’s faiths and should be thought through, 65 per cent wanted to see Thailand develop in every way and more than 60 per cent wanted democratic elections to happen.

Asked what politicians should do during this period, more than 72 per cent said that they should provide fruitful political suggestions, 67 per cent said that they should not stir up any conflict and almost 56 per cent viewed that they should be preparing the nation for elections.

In a related development, the same Super Poll found that as many as 75 per cent of people did not know that PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled, although tentatively, to visit the White House based on a phone-call invitation by President Donald Trump in April.

However, 65 per cent supported Prayut’s trip to the US, with 78 per cent seeing opportunity to enhance bilateral ties. Almost 57 per cent wanted Prayut-Trump talks to bear fruits in trade and investment, 48 per cent wanted ties in education, 31 per cent looked forward to public security discussions, 31 per cent wanted to see increased labour protection and 29 per cent wanted to see solutions to human trafficking.

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