Poll Finds Most Supporters Favor Sondhi as PAD’s Party Leader


The People’s Alliance for Democracy’s recent poll finds more than 80 percent of respondents agreeing with the group’s forming of a political party. The majority of the respondents also want PAD founder Sondhi Limthongkul as the new party’s leader.

Around 20,500 people had participated in the survey organized by the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, during its anniversary of the 193-day protest on May 24-25.

According to PAD core leader Pipob Thongchai, the poll showed that 81.8 per cent of survey respondents believed the formation of a new political party will help the PAD achieve the goal of establishing new politics in Thailand. Nearly 15 percent of the respondents believe street rally is the best way to turn the new politics ideology into a reality.

The poll suggested the new party should co-exist with the PAD group so they could both act as an effective checks and balance for every political party, including the New Politics party, in the country. On the other hand, 45.5 percent said the New Politics Party should act as a tool for the PAD to promote public policies put forward by the civil sector.

Just 1.64 percent of the survey respondents opposed the establishment of the New Politics Party.

Supporters of the PAD also expressed their opinions on who should become the new party leader. Over 50 percent of the survey respondents wanted ASTV founder and core PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul to take the post. 17 percent wanted PAD’s core leader Major General Chamlong Srimuang to lead the New Politics party. 15.17 percent prefer PAD leader and Democrat MP Somkiat Pongpaiboon .

Nearly 6 percent supported another core PAD leader, Somsak Kosaisuk, as the party head, while Piphob was the fourth runner-up. When asked who should become the party leader if the PAD’s core leaders are not allowed to do so, nearly 46 percent left the question blank.

Former Democrat’s key member Arthit Urairut was the supporters’ number one choice, if the PAD leaders were not to be appointed as the party leader. Nearly 6 percent of survey respondents favor ex-Senator Jermsak Pinthong, 4.2 percent throw their support behind PAD’s coordinator Suriyasai Katasila.

Just 3 percent voted for former Foreign Minister Air Squadron Leader Prasong Sunsiri and around 2 percent wanted retired military top brass, General Pathompong Kesornsuk as party leader.

When asked what they expect from the New Politics Party, nearly 70 percent is confident it will be a new role model for Thai administrators. 8.17 percent said such the New Politics Party would be able to create a better and stronger political arena in Thailand.

Core PAD Leader Phiphob inisted the poll is not meant to draw attention to the PAD and said it was important to keep the public informed about the poll results.

Piphob however stated the survey will not dictate the group’s decision on the party leader and executives. He said the relevant laws and regulations must also be taken into consideration when the final decision is made.
Commenting on the move by the red-shirt protesters to push for the royal pardon for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Piphob said the move must follow due process of the law.



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