Turnout low on PM four questions day

Turnout low on PM four questions day

Around 20 people showed up at the Damrongdhama centre in Nakhon Ratchasima Monday to express their opinions on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's four questions about elections. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)
Around 20 people showed up at the Damrongdhama centre in Nakhon Ratchasima Monday to express their opinions on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's four questions about elections. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

Complaints centres nationwide opened their doors to the public Monday to gather opinions on the prime minister's four key questions, with only handfuls of people turning up to voice their thoughts.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, the centre welcomed more than 20 people, mostly retired state officials who said they did not believe the next election would produce a transparent government.

They also expressed their support for Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, saying he should stay on in power until order is brought to the country before holding an election.

In Rayong, six residents appeared at the Damrongdhama complaints centre to write their answers on forms provided by the centre, while three people visited a centre in Chai Nat.

Pornpen Toprasert, director of the centre in Chai Nat, said even though public turnout on the first day was low, she believed more people will be encouraged to go to the centres as awareness builds.

Theerapol Ritpornpong, a 67-year-old retiree, said the decision to seek public feedback on the prime minister's questions was a good opportunity for Thais to voice whatever concerns they may have, so that the government can address them.

In his opinion, although Gen Prayut seized power in a coup, he was a good man.

In Kalasin, the majority of respondents did not believe Thailand would have a government with good governance, expressing cynicism about politics in general.

In Songkhla, Katawut Pimsak, assistant district officer overseeing the centre in Hat Yai district, said the activity was not widely publicised so only a few locals appeared at the centre to fill in the form.

Meanwhile, Suthep Thaugsuban, the chairman of the Muan Maha Prachachon for Reform Foundation, also posted his answers to the four questions on his Facebook page. Mr Suthep said he expected Thailand would have a clean government free from corruption after the next election.

The government has decided to seek feedback after Gen Prayut asked the four questions during his weekly television address on May 26. The questions were roundly criticised as an attempt to gather public support for the regime to stay on in power.

The first question asked whether people think the next elected government can offer good governance. The second asked what should be done if an incompetent government were elected.

The third asked whether elections that fail to take into account matters relating to the country's future, reforms and national strategy would be desirable.

His fourth asked if unscrupulous politicians should be allowed to run in the election.


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