SUNDAY, April 21, 2024

Parole for Thaksin unpopular with 40% of Thais: NIDA poll

Parole for Thaksin unpopular with 40% of Thais: NIDA poll

Around 40% of Thais strongly disagreed with the move of the Department of Corrections to release former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on parole, according to a recent poll survey.

Thaksin is currently staying at his Chan Song La residence in Bangkok after having met the department's criteria of serving one-third of the jail term along with being aged and ill.

Since arriving in August last year, Thaksin has not spent a single day behind bars but has instead served all his jail time at the Police General Hospital.

The ruling Pheu Thai Party revealed that the 74-year-old Thaksin was grappling with severe health issues, including cervical spondylosis, and tendonitis in his arm while suffering from long Covid, as he had got infected with the virus three times while living abroad.

The survey was carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) among 1,310 respondents at least 18 years old, sampled nationwide from February 20 to 22. The results were announced on Sunday.

Asked about the department's authority ro reduce the punishment or offer parole after the court's verdict, 40% of respondents strongly disagreed with this power, followed by 19.47% who strongly agreed and 19.16% who moderately disagreed.

Meanwhile, 41.69% of respondents strongly agreed that external experts should take part in the department's consideration, followed by 24.58% who moderately agreed and 24.27% who strongly disagreed.

Speaking of the political consequences of the decision:

  • 50.38%: Thaksin would take up a role as adviser to Pheu Thai.
  • 28.93%: Rallies against Thaksin would not be severe
  • 26.72%: Pheu Thai's popularity would drop due to Thaksin's role
  • 21.68%: Strong rallies against Thaksin would be severe
  • 19.69%: Pheu Thai-Move Forward political competition will intensify
  • 19.24%: A Cabinet reshuffle will happen soon
  • 17.63%: Thaksin will no longer interfere with Thai politics
  • 17.02%: PM Srettha Thavisin will retain his position for the full tenure
  • 14.43%: Thailand would have two PMs
  • 12.21%: Government House will retain its political power
  • 11.15%: Political power will shift to Chan Song La residence
  • 11.07%: Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra will take over as PM from Srettha
  • 9.54%: Pheu Thai's popularity will rise thanks to Thaksin's role
  • 6.11%: Pheu Thai and Move Forward's friendship will strengthen