Thailand: Public doubts charter change would improve Thai politics: Poll

  • A slight majority of people are not confident that constitutional amendments would help improve Thai politics, according to an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.
  • The poll was carried out on 3-4 Aug 20 on 1,255 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country.
  • Asked whether they knew that a public referendum is required to amend Section 256 of the constitution, making way for a council set up to draft a new constitution, a majority — or 75.22% — said they did not know about this while 24.78% said they did.
  • Regarding their overall opinions on the current proposal for constitutional amendments, 35.14% said Section 256 should be amended first to make way for the setting up of a constitution drafting council; 33.94% believed the constitution should be amended section by section; 13.87% thought the constitution should not be amended; and 17.05% had no answer or were not interested.
  • Asked whether they were confident Thai politics would improve if the constitution is amended, a majority, 53.31%, were uncertain — with 27.33% saying they were not confident at all, reasoning that changing the constitution alone is not enough to make an improvement and 25.98% not particularly confident, saying the constitution had been amended many times before but problems in Thai politics remained.
  • On the other side, 23.03% said they were moderately confident because the new constitution would come from the people, while 21.35% were highly confident, saying the new constitution would emphasise people’s participation, and that would help reduce conflict.
  • The rest, 2.31%, had no answer or were not interested.

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