Election Commission petitioned on ‘indicative element’ in pre-balloting survey


BANGKOK, Feb 7 – A Bangkok gubernational candidate said he would petition Thailand’s watchdog Election Commission (EC) today, asking it to ban further pre-election surveys on voter preferences for the upcoming March 3 election.

Seripisut Temiyavet, who ranked third in all surveys, said he would represent the public in  petitioning the EC which claimed earlier that it could not take any action against pollsters for lack of a complainant.

Observers in some quarters of Thai society said pre-election survey results could influence eligible voters, and called for a ban on such polls.

Meanwhile, the two latest academic surveys gave Pheu Thai candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen an edge over his closest rival, former Bangkok governor, Democrat candidate Sukhumbhand Paribatra.

The ABAC Poll, the research arm of Assumption University, said 42 per cent of voters favoured Mr Pongsapat against 33.5 per cent for Mr Sukhumbhand. Suan Dusit Rajabhat University’s Suan Dusit Poll, which conducted the latest survey Feb 2-6 found that 42.59 per cent of voters said they would vote for Mr Pongsapat and 34.31 per cent for Mr Sukhumbhand. Mr Seripisut placed third with 8.6 per cent in the ABAC Poll and 6.38 per cent in the Suan Dusit Poll.

According to the ABAC Poll, conducted on Jan 31-Feb 6, 63.5 per cent of eligible voters said they would actually vote while 36.5 per cent said they would not.