Most Thais outside Bangkok want direct elections for governor: poll

Most Thais outside Bangkok want direct elections for governor: poll

Children look at flyers for Chadchart Sittipunt on Thursday as he campaigns as an independent candidate in the upcoming gubernatorial election in Phaya Thai district. A Nida poll released on Sunday shows residents in other provinces hope for a chance to elect their own governors. (AFP photo)
Children look at flyers for Chadchart Sittipunt on Thursday as he campaigns as an independent candidate in the upcoming gubernatorial election in Phaya Thai district. A Nida poll released on Sunday shows residents in other provinces hope for a chance to elect their own governors. (AFP photo)

As Bangkok residents gear up for the May 22 election of their governor, a large majority of people in other provinces also want to elect their own governors, according to an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted on May 2-4 by telephone interviews with 1,316 people in provinces outside the capital. 

Currently, the head of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is the only popularly-elected provincial governor in the country, with governors in ever other province appointed by the Interior Ministry.

Asked whether all provincial governors should be elected, the replies varied as follows:

- 33.97% said an elected governor can better respond to the needs of the people;
- 20.14% said all governors should be elected;
- 19.15% said the candidates are selling their dreams, which may fail to materialise;
- 13.07% were interested in the policies outlined by the candidates;
- 8.59% said appointed governors are also capable of performing their duties;
- 8.36% said the Bangkok governor election helps strengthen democracy;
- 7.67% said they envy Bangkok people who can elect their own governor;
- 6.91% were afraid elected governors in other provinces might represent groups of influential people;
- 5.09% said since other provinces already have elected provincial administration organisation (PAO) chairmen, gubernatorial elections are not necessary; and
- 1.75% said that in other provinces, electing governors might cause division in society.

Asked whether elections of governors should first be held in four or five major provinces as a trial, the replies were:

- 55.55% strongly agreed;
- 28.87% were in moderate agreement;
- 8.74% totally disagreed;
- 6.38% were in moderate disagreement;
- 0.46% had no comment.

Asked whether they are ready to hold elections for governors immediately,

- 47.87% said "yes", definitely;
- 28.80% said "yes", probably;
- 11.25% said "no", not at all;
- 10.56% said "probably not";
- 1.52% had no comment.

Of the respondents, 28.65% were in central Thailand, 19.75% the North, 36.78% the Northeast and 14.82% the South.

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