People want govt to negotiate with protesters: poll

People want govt to negotiate with protesters: poll

Protesters flash the three-finger salute outside the Bangkok Remand Prison where a rally was held to pressure Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)
Protesters flash the three-finger salute outside the Bangkok Remand Prison where a rally was held to pressure Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)

Most people want the government to seek immediate negotiations with the protesters and not to buy time amid the current political conflict, according to an opinion survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was conducted on Oct 19-22 on 5,738 people throughout the country to compile their opinions on the ongoing political protests in Bangkok and other provinces.

Asked why the numbers of political rallies have increased, with the respondents allowed to give more than one answer, the answers varied as follows:

- The protesters are not satisfied with the prime minister's handling of the country's administration (66.23%);

- The protesters want democracy and an end to dictatorial power (49.85%);

- The two sides in conflict are fighting for political power (48.42%);

- The people want to see a rapid amendment to the constitution (47.11%); and

- The government has performed poorly (44.15%).

Asked what they want to tell the government in the wake of political protests, the responses varied as follows:

- The government should immediately seek negotiations with the protesters and not to buy time (72.37%);

- It should not use violence against the protesters (61.69%); 

- It should listen to the voice of the people and the protesters (60.43%);

- The protests are in line with democratic principles (57.41%); and

- The protesters are exercising their rights and freedoms (53.09%).

At the same time, the respondents want the protesters not to become a tool of any political groups (73.31%); to be careful about Covid-19 (65.97%); to avoid resorting to violence (63.85%); to respect the law (60.67%); and to avoid infringing on the monarchy (60.41%).

Asked to suggest ways of ending the political protests, 61.44% said the two sides must not use violence; 57.90% said the government must show sincerity in addressing the protesters' concerns; 56.58% said both sides should seek a truce via negotiations; 49.54% said the two sides must listen to one another's opinions; and 44.09% said the two sides must be flexible and step back.

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