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Breaking the Color Code: Thailand’s Struggle with Political Faction Divisions – Can Unification Happen?

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Undoubtedly, Thailand’s political landscape is under a significant transformation process, with the coalition government led by the Pheu Thai Party and Srettha Thavisin as the country’s Prime Minister. Encapsulated in the realm of yellow PAD and orange Move Forward supporters, we see this “special government” facing a unique blend of acceptance and skepticism. Yet, the question remains—will this pave the way to a unified political milieu, or will there only be a newer color-coded schism? An intriguing public opinion survey conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration, otherwise known as the Nida Poll, sheds some light on it.

The survey asked if the freshly formed coalition government brings hope for the healing of the long-standing political divide. The response was intriguing, with 57.25% believing this unlikely – 36.72% having no hope at all, and 20.53% affirming moderate faith. Conversely, 40.46% expressed optimism – with 20.61% confident and 19.85% carrying a moderate belief in healing the divide. A slim 2.29% either had nothing to contribute or expressed disinterest in the topic.

Another intriguing question explored sentiments on the potential return of the former prime minister The results were a dichotomy. With a negligible difference, 49.31% projected it could bring an end to the color-coded strife, while 49.01% disagreed. Apparently, 1.68% remained uninterested or harbored no opinion.

Interestingly, the study also chronicled the populace’s engagement in the country’s political activism. A vast majority—87.63%—revealed no participation in rallies by various political factions. On further exploration, it surface that 4.35% had attended UDD (United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, also known as the red shirts) rallies; 3.13% had aligned with the PAD (People’s Alliance for Democracy, the yellow shirts); 3.05% had expressed support to the PDRC (the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, successor of the PAD), and 2.82% had participated in pro-democracy three-finger group (orange shirts) rallies.

Political affiliations too staged intriguing statistics. A clear majority—69.47%—professed no alliance. However, 19.85% affirmed association with the orange-shirted three-finger group; 6.64% sided with the red-shirted UDD; 2.59% confirmed kinship with the yellow-shirted PAD; and 1.45% claimed adherence to the PDRC.

The forecast for future conflicts among political factions painted a blurry picture. The results were as follows: 39.39% envisioned conflict between the orange shirts and the coalition of yellow and red shirts; 24.89% believed conflict to become a thing of the past; 16.56% claimed strife between the red shirts and orange shirts; 6.72% predicted friction between the yellow shirts and red shirts; 2.44% saw a standoff between red shirts and PDRC; 2.29% thought conflict between yellow shirts and orange shirts; 1.45% sensed a fight between PDRC and orange shirts; while 0.53% anticipated a clash between yellow shirts and PDRC. A significant 10.53% chose not to proffer an opinion or showed no interest.

This enlightening poll was conducted from August 23 to 25, performing telephone interviews with 1,310 citizens of varying age (18+), educational background, occupation types, and income levels spread across Thailand.

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