Thaksin to be next PM: poll

BANGKOK (AFP): Tycoon-turned-politician Thaksin Shinawatra is leading rivals in the race to be Thailand’s next prime minister, according to a new survey of Bangkok residents released today. The Bangkok University poll found Thaksin commanded 39.2% support, ahead of Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, who drew 31.7%. Since Thaksin set aside his telecommunications empire to establish the Thai Rak Thai party two years ago he has become an arch-rival of Chuan’s ruling Democrats and has attracted many prominent politicians into his party. In the survey, the leaders of Thailand’s other three major political parties received only a small fraction of the vote. However, the three are expected to play a crucial role in the political horse-trading that is certain to follow the next election. Chuan, whose Democrats head a six-party coalition in government, must call an election by mid-November, when the government’s current term in office ends. The mood in the capital is seen as an indicator for the whole country. Bangkok is home to about 10 million of the country’s 60 million population, most of whom are listed on electoral rolls in the provinces. The Bangkok University survey covered 1,985 adult residents of the city on August 26 and 27.

Phuket News

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