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General news >> Monday March 26, 2007

Protests did not enjoy wide support in Bangkok

Demonstrations by pressure groups at Sanam Luang to oppose the government and the Council for National Security (CNS) had only minority support in Bangkok, an Abac poll found.

The pollsters surveyed 1,226 eligible voters in the capital and surrounding areas from March 22 to 24.

Just over 43% of respondents felt the interim Surayud government and the CNS should be given the opportunity to prove their worth.

They also felt that the old powers were behind the protests.

The 22% who favoured the anti-coup rallies said they wanted elections called very soon.

They were dissatisfied with the government's slow performance.

The poll found 12.5% support for the government's political stance, significantly down from 31.3% on March 3 and 4.

But the number who did not support the government's position only increased from 4% to 5%.

The great majority, 82%, had no opinion one way or the other _ up from 64%.

The survey found that 22% thought the demonstrations were politically motivated.

Around the same percentage believed some demonstrators were hired to attend the gatherings.

While 70% felt the demonstrators had ulterior motives, 29.8% believed the protesters upheld the democratic spirit.

About 43% said it was possible that the protests had the backing of political parties, but 17% ruled out such a possibility.

A total of 41.4% said the the coup makers should stay away from politics and should not become cabinet ministers or the prime minister, who should be elected by the people. Only 11.8% agreed with the CNS taking political power.

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