Poll: 49% of state officials back PDRC

Almost half of civil servants and state enterprise employees agree with the objectives of ongoing rallies to oust the Yingluck Shinawatra government and the so-called Thaksin regime, Nida Poll reported Friday.

The poll found 49% of those surveyed supported protests led by the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and its allies because they believe the Thaksin regime is an intricate patronage system that benefits cronies, especially corrupt politicians, and is causing considerable damage to the nation.    

But 41% of respondents to the poll disagreed, saying the protests have no clear objective, have dragged on for too long and are bringing disorder and economic damage to the country. 

Nida Poll, run by the National Institute of Development Administration, said it interviewed 1,251 government officials and employees of state enterprises across the country on Wednesday and Thursday. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points. 

On what the government should do to break the current political impasse, 57% said Ms Yingluck should step down to make way for a neutral person to become prime minister, while 19% wanted her to continue doing her job in a caretaker capacity. 

The pollster said 81% of respondents said they had never participated in the protests to pressure Ms Yingluck and her cabinet to step down. Asked if they would take part in PDRC activities in future, 62% said they would not, 27% said they would and 11% said it would depend on how the situation unfolded. 

A number of officials, including kamnans and village heads, have appeared on PDRC rally stages during the Bangkok Shutdown campaign, despite being threatened with disciplinary and criminal punishment by their superiors. 

On Thursday, many Commerce Ministry officials wore black to work in symbolic opposition to the disciplinary investigation launched against their colleagues who appeared on protest stages alongside retired senior officials.

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