EC to decide today on victory endorsement
The Election Commission may today consider whether to endorse the victory of Bangkok governor-elect Sukhumbhand Paribatra, EC Secretary-General Puchong Nutrawong said yesterday.Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva also said he had consulted with Sukhumbhand about choosing deputy Bangkok governors and the selection would be done by early next week.
Meanwhile, the National Police chief said Pheu Thai's failed Bangkok governor candidate Pol General Pongsapat Pongcharoen had informed him that he wanted to return to work as a police officer.
Phuchong said the EC had not considered the results of the gubernatorial election because the Bangkok Election Committee had sent its report to the EC only yesterday and it could not be put on the meeting's agenda in time.
Phuchong said EC chairman Apichart Sukhagganond was on a foreign trip and would return to work on Friday so the four remaining EC commissioners would have to consider whether to go ahead with endorsing the election result or to wait for Apichart.
Phuchong said the four EC commissioners yesterday discussed whether to consider the issue today.
Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday he expected the EC to endorse Sukhumbhand's victory on Friday or by Monday.
He said the party would be able to defend itself against any allegations and he believed Sukhumbhand would not be disqualified because of any accusations.
The Democrat leader said he had consulted with Sukhumbhand about selecting deputy Bangkok governors and the choices would be made early next week.
Abhisit said there were several qualified persons, including party members and outsiders. Deputy governors would be selected to help Sukhumbhand implement his campaign policies and bolster the party's strength in Bangkok so some might be outsiders, Abhisit said.
The Democrat leader said Sukhumbhand would be able to start implementing certain campaign promises right away without the need for large budgets, such as keeping Bangkok tidy and clean, improving landscapes around the capital, installing more security cameras and street lamps and increasing parks.
He said all of these tasks should be done within a year.
Abhisit said the election result would not lead to changes inside the party. He said party secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on was helping the party's election from behind the scenes.
He said the party would hold a meeting of its executive board tomorrow to evaluate the party's election performance.
National Police chief General Adul Sangsingkaew said yesterday the police service would welcome and reinstate Pheu Thai's failed candidate, Pongsapat Pongcharoen, to his position of deputy National Police chief.
"Pongsapat and I have had our talks and the formalities of his reinstatement will be finalised in due course".
Under police service regulations, an officer who resigns to contest elections is entitled to reinstatement following defeat.
Police spokesman Maj-General Piya Uthayo said Pongsapat was expected to activate the reinstatement process as soon as the Election Commission had endorsed the official outcome of the balloting.
Piya said Pongsapat's reinstatement would be in accordance with precedents of other failed candidates who are also police officers.
He dismissed concern that Pongsapat might bring partisanship into the police service, saying before resuming his police career he would have to resign the Pheu Thai Party membership.