92,000 reply to 'four questions' in five days

92,000 reply to 'four questions' in five days

Rangsiman Rome, a Thammasat University activist opposed to the military government, writes his answers to the prime minister's four questions at Government House on Friday. (Photo by Pawat Laupaisarntaksin)
Rangsiman Rome, a Thammasat University activist opposed to the military government, writes his answers to the prime minister's four questions at Government House on Friday. (Photo by Pawat Laupaisarntaksin)

Some 92,000 people answered the prime minister's four questions about politics and the future of Thailand this week.

According to the Interior Ministry's Damrongtham Centre, which runs the complaint centres in all provinces, where people are allowed to submit their answers to the questions, 88,390 people in the provinces expressed their views from Monday to Friday. In Bangkok, 3,619 people shared their views this week.

Khon Kaen led with 9,582 over the past five days, followed by Sakhon Nakhon (5,676) and Ubon Ratchathani (3,213). Ang Thong saw the fewest respondents (119), followed by Nakhon Nayok (107) and Samut Sakhon (43). 

Sompas Nilaphan, deputy permanent secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, said on Saturday that most of the Bangkok respondents did not believe they would get a good government after the general election and wanted Gen Prayut and the National Council for Peace and Order to continue running the country. 

A Suan Dusit Poll survey found 84% of the people would not go to the centres to answer the questions because they had no free time.

Gen Prayut said in his weekly TV address on Friday that his intention was to give people a chance to participate in solving the country’s problems.

“I’ve opened this forum for you to express your views. Whether they are good or bad, I’ll take them all [into consideration]. We all have to take responsibility as the owners of the country.

“This is not to boost popularity or to attack politicians. Whether it’s one, 10 or a thousand people, I’ll listen to them all. I’ll assume the rest already understand,” he said.

Nipit Intarasombat, a Democrat Party deputy leader, commented on Saturday on the reports that most of the respondents did not believe the next election would bring a government with good governance.

“The response is telling. This government has been running the country for three years. It has implemented national reform. It wrote a new constitution. Yet people still think an election is not the answer. The government must contemplate whether what it had done amounts to nothing,” he said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha raised the four questions in his weekly address on May 26. The questions have been roundly criticised as an attempt to gather public support for the regime to stay on in power. The questions are:

1. Do you think the next election will bring a government with good governance?

2. What should be done if it fails to do so?

3. Elections are an important element of democracy. Is it right to [give importance to] elections alone without consideration for the country's future such as national strategy and reform?

4. Do you think political groups with inappropriate behaviours deserve a chance to run in elections? If they are [elected], who should solve the problem and how?



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