Huge majority think senators should not vote for PM: Poll

Huge majority think senators should not vote for PM: Poll

Pheu Thai Party leader Sompong Amornwiwat presents a motion to amend four sections of the constitution, one of them on the power of senators, to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai at parliament on Thursday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Pheu Thai Party leader Sompong Amornwiwat presents a motion to amend four sections of the constitution, one of them on the power of senators, to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai at parliament on Thursday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

A large majority of people say they agree with a proposal to abolish Section 272 of the present constitution, which gives senators the power to vote in the election of the prime minister, according to a survey by National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted on Sept 8-10 on 1,317 people aged 18 and over of various educational levels and occupations throughout the country to compile their opinions on the powers of senators under Section 272 of the 2017 constitution.

On the proposal to abolish Section 272 -- the part that gives senators the right to vote in the election of the prime minister -- 61.27% said they strongly agreed with it and 16.48% expressed moderate agreement. On the other side, 13.21% said they were totally against its abolition and 8.96% said they somewhat disagreed with it. The rest, 0.08%, had no comment or were not interested.

Asked whether parliament should then be dissolved to make way for a new election, 67.92% of those who favoured the abolition of Section 272 said they strongly agreed with doing this and 15.90% were in moderate agreement. On the other side, 7.22% said they totally disagreed and 6.24% somewhat disagreed. The rest, 1.37%, had no comment or were not interested.

Asked what actions senators should take regarding the 2017 constitution, 54.75% said they should back the amendment of the charter section-by-section; 30.37% said they should support the amendment of the constitution in its entirety by setting up a constitutional drafting council (CDC); 10.70% said they should refuse all forms of constitutional amendment; and 4.18% had no comment or were not interested.

To the question about the necessity of having senators in the Thai parliamentary system, 38.27% said they were necessary to balance MPs' legislative power and that senators should come from an election only; 31.66% said they were not necessary and having them was a waste of the national budget; and 30.70% said it didn't make any difference because they haven't done anything that has produced concrete results.


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