Prayut unfazed by poll

Prayut unfazed by poll

Prayut insists govt has performed well

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha makes the ‘I love you’ sign as he leaves the Rajpruek Club on March 17, 2022. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha makes the ‘I love you’ sign as he leaves the Rajpruek Club on March 17, 2022. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday shrugged off poll results that suggested his popularity was waning and insisted the government has fared well in running the country.

He was responding to the results of the first quarterly survey on potential candidates to serve in the post by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll, released on Sunday.

According to the poll, Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat outpolled Gen Prayut -- 13.42% to 12.67% -- for the post of prime minister.

Gen Prayut's popularity plummeted by a quarter from the 16.9% he received in December. However, a number larger than the two candidates' scores combined, or 27.62%, said none of the options were suitable for the post, according to the poll.

The poll was conducted from March 10-15 on 2,020 people aged 18 and over representing a broad section of Thai society.

Asked by reporters about the results, Gen Prayut said: "I have no comment. But I am not disheartened. I am not the type who runs away from problems.

"Even though the government has not yet achieved everything it set out to do, it has done a lot for the country," Gen Prayut said after chairing a cabinet meeting.

"So the government should be given fair treatment," he added.

The premier said the cabinet meeting discussed a wide range of topics, many of which were of great concern including the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Russian-Ukraine war and its impact on the economy.

"Cabinet ministers are monitoring the situation closely," the prime minister said.

The ministers have promised to do their best to solve problems and steer the country through difficult times, he noted.

Also on the meeting's agenda were proposals to tackle poverty as the government has set itself the task of combating poverty issues in all regions of the country with the aid of the Thai People Map and Analytics Platform (TPMAP), a data analytics tool.

Details of a plan to overcome the poverty problem are expected to be firmed up next month, the prime minister said.

He added that the government has approved a set of measures to help ease the impact of rising fuel prices arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The measures will require a budget of about 80 billion baht.

They include increasing cooking gas subsidies for 3.6 million holders of state welfare cards from 45 baht to 100 baht a month each and providing a monthly 100-baht discount to 5,500 vendors and hawkers who hold state welfare cards.

Gasohol costs will also be reduced by 250 baht per month for 157,000 working motorcycle drivers registered with the Department of Land Transport. In addition, the retail price of diesel will be capped at 30 baht per litre until the end of next month.

Afterwards, Gen Prayut visited vendors at Talad Saphan Khao on Lan Luang Road in Dusit district and heard what they had to say about the economic problems affecting their livelihoods.

The premier told them the government would not leave anyone behind and would do everything in its power to help ease people's plight.

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