Group wants opinions on Gen Prayut's tenure

Group wants opinions on Gen Prayut's tenure

Online poll aims to give people greater say

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks to reporters at Government House on Tuesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks to reporters at Government House on Tuesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Academics and media outlets are urging the public to take part in an online poll to express their opinions on the dispute over when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's tenure ends.

A previous online poll, which was held over the no-confidence vote in parliament last month, had more than 520,000 people taking part.

The group said online polls allow the public to have a say on important issues without the need to take to the streets to protest.

Gen Prayut's time in office has been a highly debated topic among the public.

According to Section 158 of the constitution, the maximum term of a prime minister is eight years, but there have been disagreements over when Gen Prayut's term officially began.

His critics believe it should be this month because the clock started in 2014 when Gen Prayut first became prime minister after the coup that year.

The poll is being carried out by academics from eight universities in conjunction with eight media outlets.

The academics come from Thammasat University, the National Institute of Development Administration, Srinakharinwirot University, Rangsit University, Burapha University, Chiang Mai University, Prince of Songkla University, and Ubon Ratchathani University.

Meanwhile, the media outlets are four digital TV channels and four social media outlets, including Thairath TV, PPTV, The Momentum and The Standard.

The latest online poll will be held from 6am tomorrow to midnight on Sunday, with the results to be announced on Monday.

Participants can expect to be asked whether Gen Prayut should or should not stay on as prime minister for more than eight years.

Participants can scan a QR code to be posted on Facebook pages run by the media outlets to cast votes on mobile phones.

According to the organisers, the campaign is not intended to cause harm to the prime minister, adding they want to promote public participation.

"The vote will have no legal effect but it will reflect the people's voices, which all sides should listen to," the group said.

On Wednesday, the opposition bloc filed a petition with the Constitutional Court, calling for a ruling over Gen Prayut's tenure and his suspension pending the ruling.

The opposition bloc insists Gen Prayut's tenure must end on Aug 24, about eight years after the 2014 coup that ousted the previous administration.

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