02/14/2012, 00.00
THAILAND
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Thais evaluate highs and lows of Yingluck Shinawatra’s government

by Weena Kowitwanij
Fight against drugs, international relations and increase in minimum wage factors that have received the most support in the polls. Disappointment over problems related to floods, rising prices and the divisions within the population.
Bangkok (AsiaNews) –Thais have given their reserved approval to the first six months of Yingluck Shinawatra’s government, marked on 8 February. According to the Dusit poll, which is based on 5373 respondents, and an evaluation of one to ten, the Prime Minister scored 6:58 points for her attention to her task. The assessment of her activities is 5.95; the activity of her government team is 5.82. And regarding transparency, the Executive achieved a 5.16 score.

The three best results obtained by the government in the past six months regard the fight against drugs, the construction of international relations and the increase of wages of civil servants and the minimum wage. Instead major disappointments include the failure to resolve problems related to floods, rising prices and the divisions among the population.

The poll by the University Research Center of Bangkok is based on 1151 students, aged 18, throughout the national territory. The topics are the same, and the rating scale is identical to the survey mentioned above. Satisfaction with government achievements stopped at 4.94 points, success in the area of international relations was the best result (5.16), the worst regarded legality, with 4.18. The projects and achievements that have met with most satisfaction are the fight against drugs, the increase in wages, the approach to the problem of reparations to flood victims.

Sompong Jitradub, professor of Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Education, praised Prime Minister Yingluck for her understanding of political culture, but said she should give greater attention to issues related to the floods than the amendments to the Constitution.

An analyst, Panya Arwud, emphasizes the role of Prime Minister in seeking a compromise to solve the divisions among the Thai people, the increase in wages and the decision to provide free education. Instead, the desire for improvement in terms of government action regarding the economy: the high cost of agricultural products, the problem of corruption and the slow growth need to be addressed.
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