‘A poll is just a poll,’ Thai PM Prayut unfazed by opposition’s popularity

Thailand will hold a general election at some point before March 2023, but polls reveal that current PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is not the favourite to win. PM Prayut says he’s not worried about the poll results, because “a poll is just a poll.”

Paetongtarn Shinawatra – daughter of ousted ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra and central figure of the Pheu Thai Party – recently came in at No.1 in a quarterly opinion poll taken by the National Institute of Development Administration, or NIDA, which is a university in Bangkok.

NIDA interviewed 2,500 adults of various occupations, incomes and education levels from all around Thailand. More than one-quarter of them said Paetongtarn would be the best candidate in Thailand’s next general election. PM Prayut came in fourth place, with just 11.68% of people voting in favour of him.

In another poll about political party preference, 36% of respondents voted for the Pheu Thai Party, which came in first place. The Move Forward party came in third place and in fourth place, came PM Prayut’s Palang Pracharat Party with just 7% of the vote.

“A poll is just a poll,” said PM Prayut, unfazed by the coalition’s sagging popularity. “I work and assess the achievement by myself. Whether people like my work is up to them. I serve everyone and conduct my duties without bias.”

Fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, on the other hand, predicts that “pro-democracy”, or opposition parties, will win the majority vote in the next general election.

Thaksin said that whether the MP party list is calculated by dividing the votes by 100, as agreed by MPs, or by 500, as favoured by PM Prayut, that opposition parties will win the majority of seats either way…

“The incumbent government can continue to do what it wants to do in order to alter the possible outcome of the upcoming elections but one thing is for sure, that the pro-democracy parties are likely to win with an absolute majority.”

“They can try whatever means they want but rest assured that the Democratic Front (pro-democracy parties) will get no less than 300 seats.”

Thaksin thinks PM Prayut’s move to alter the calculation system intends to leverage the smaller parties to create a more supportive base for a future coalition. Currently, the ruling Palang Pracharat-led coalition is made up of MPs from 17 different parties.

Despite Thaksin’s daughter’s popularity among the public to be the next prime minister, junta-appointed senator Wanchai Sornsiri says it will never happen. On Facebook, Wanchai said that Paetongtarn had never been elected to public office and lacked the needed maturity for the job.

SOURCE: Benar News

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.