Main contenders hit campaign trail

national January 20, 2013 00:00

By The Nation on Sunday

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Yingluck, Abhisit among top leaders out to woo voters in the capital

Leading figures of the two major political parties contesting the Bangkok governor’s seat yesterday joined candidates on their mission to woo people’s votes.

The ruling Pheu Thai Party and the opposition Democrat Party’s gubernatorial candidates yesterday campaigned separately and announced policies that they hopes will win the hearts of Bangkok voters.
Democrat Party candidate MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, accompanied by party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and other party executives, told people at Siam Paragon shopping centre that residents across the capital will have access to free Wi-Fi Internet connections.
The Democrat candidate said as education is key to the country’s development, he has initiated a project to provide one computer per student plus free breakfast for schools under the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The schools have added a course to instil moral values in children so that they grow up to become good citizens who are not corrupt.
Many young people, shop owners and street hawkers swarmed around Sukhumbhand and Abhisit to have their pictures taken with them.
Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut denied reports that the party aimed to discredit Pheu Thai Party gubernatorial candidate Pol General Pongsapat Pongcharoen by publicly exposing cases against him.
He said the Democrats would not opt for an underground game or use dirty tactics but would compete against the ruling party with fairness by focusing on better policies.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday helped Pongsapat campaign for votes at Lumpini Park where Bangkok residents come to exercise in the morning. She said the party would make Bangkok grow not only economically but with balanced development so that the residents can live in the city that has fresh air to breathe, places to exercise and relax.
Pongsapat said the party would rent areas of state agencies such as the public property and the Expressway and Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand to make public parks covering more than 100 rai as Bangkok has only six parks. There will be areas where people can play sport and exercise. He would also seek state funds to provide more mass transit systems so people can use public transport more conveniently.
Yingluck led a big group of leading Pheu Thai figures such as Deputy Prime Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong, Phumtham Wechayachai, and Sudarat Keyuraphan.
Yingluck travelled to the park in her own van without motorcades, so that she was not accused of using the state assets for the election.
Police General Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, an independent gubernatorial candidate, called a press conference to publicly announce his decision to run in the Bangkok governor election.
He said he wanted to offer himself as an alternative as he believed an independent candidate could work better without being politically dominated and with political fighting on the national and local level.
He said he had already prepared a team of competent people who would support his mission to solve the problems of Bangkok residents.
In the first month, he vowed to resolve the issue of unpaid arrears of BMA officials and amend laws that prevent candidates of political parties from joining the gubernatorial election.
He promised a number of projects such as building a sports field for all BMA schools, establishing a bilingual education system, providing free air-con buses, providing free meals for the poor at temples.
Although he is an independent, he said he would be able to work with any party as he had experience of working with both the Democrats and Pheu Thai when he was National Police chief.
Sereepisuth’s team includes Prapan Khunmee, Seri Suparathit, Amornwit Nakhontap and Kiatiwan Amatayakul.

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