(March 19): Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, widened her lead as the voters’ top choice in the latest opinion poll ahead of a general election tentatively scheduled for May.
Paetongtarn, who represents the Southeast Asian nation’s largest opposition party Pheu Thai, garnered 38.2% of support in a poll of 2,000. It’s the latest edition of a quarterly survey by the National Institute of Development Administration. Her approval jumped from 34% in the previous poll conducted in December.
Incumbent Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha garnered the backing of 15.7% of respondents, also up from December’s 14%, ranking him third. The coup-leader-turned-premier kicked off his campaign to extend his rule by ordering the dissolution of the nation’s parliament, a prerequisite for the May poll.
Pheu Thai seeks to end nearly a decade of military-backed rule with pledges to lift the minimum wage by 70% and boost economic growth to an average of 5% annually if voted into power.