Thai PM Prayut Chan-ocha. (Source: AFP/VNA)
 
Bangkok (VNA) - Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha is the most popular choice for the post of prime minister after the upcoming general election, according to the results of an opinion survey carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA Poll).

The poll was conducted on May 8-9 on 1,250 people aged 18 and above of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country to compile their opinions on the best choice for prime minister under the current Election Act.

Asked to name the person they want to be the next prime minister, Gen Prayut came first with 32.24 percent, followed by Khunying Sudarat of the Pheu Thai Party with 17.44 percent.

Former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the Democrat Party, ranked third with 14.24 percent, while Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, co-founder of the Future Forward Party came fourth with 10.08 percent.

Asked which political party they want to form the core of the next government, the Pheu Thai Party came first with 32.16 percent, followed by the Palang Pracharat Party (which supports Gen Prayut for prime minister) at 25.12 percent.

The third and fourth positions went to the Democrat Party and the Future Forward Party, with the respective support rates of 19.20 percent and 11.60 percent.

Asked whether they are confident a general election will be held in February 2019 without being further postponed, 57.76 percent of the respondents said they are not certain, reasoning that the country's situation has not returned to normal.

Meanwhile, 31.68 percent said they are confident the poll will be held then, saying that the situation has begun to return to normal, and 10.56 percent said they are not certain or had no comment.

According to the result of an opinion survey carried out by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University or Suan Dusit Poll, a majority of people oppose a planned protest by pro-election activists on May 22 to call for the government to hold a general election in 2018, saying that they should resort to peaceful means.

When asked if they agree with the planned protest, 52.01 percent said "no", saying that the pro-election activists should resort to peaceful means as it could damage the country's image, while 47.99 percent agree, reasoning that they want to see an election as soon as possible.

Asked what they want to tell Gen Prayut about this matter, 44.35 percent said they want the prime minister to be open to public opinions; 34.35 percent said he should clearly declare an election timeframe; and, 27.39 percent want him to speed up solving problems by adhering the principle of justice and righteousness.

Earlier this month, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha affirmed that the general election will be held in early 2019. The PM’s statement came in the context that anti-government groups planned to organise large-scale demonstrations in May to demand holding the general election in 2018.-VNA