Sunday, 23 March 2008

Poll: nearly half reject party dissolutions

BANGKOK, March 22 (TNA) - Nearly half the respondents in a new Suan Dusit Poll disagree with dissolution of the three government-coalition parties for alleged involvement in electoral fraud cases.

The poll, conducted among 2,056 people nationwide March 20-22, found that some 45.5 per cent opposed dissolution of the three parties – People Power Party (PPP), Chart Thai and Matchimathipataya – of their alleged vote-buying in the last December general election.

They reasoned that such a dissolution would lead to further political turmoil, a worsening economy in Thailand and that the government would also need to invest a significant budget for new elections.

Over one in four persons interviewed -- 27.44 per cent -- said however that they believed the dissolution would foster more political transparency, while a slightly lower number, 27.11 per cen,t believed no gains would be realised because the accused politicians of dissolved parties would switch to other parties.

Over 41 per cent said punishment should be give the individual wrongdoers rather than on the entire political party, while 32 per cent said that parties should be dissolved if their executives were found guilty as stipulated by the Constitution.

Near two-thuirds -- 60 per cent -- of respondents said dissolution of the three parties in the coalition government, formed by PPP, could create trouble for the country as people opposing the ruling by the Supreme Court could protest the decision by marching in the streets.

The Election Commission is scheduled to decide early April whether the poll fraud alleged to have been conducted executives of Chart Thai and Matchimathipataya parties will lead to the parties' dissolution or not. (TNA)-E111