PM 'not interested in mudslinging'

national February 17, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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Joining Pheu Thai Party gubernatorial candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen on the campaign trail in Bangkok's Lat Phrao district yesterday, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the party was not interested in mudslinging but focused on acquainting voters w

Yingluck said she instructed Pongsapat and his team to refrain from attacking rival candidates and to campaign constructively, because voters want to know how they would benefit under the next governor.

Pongsapat said that if voters choose him, the city management would have the support of the central government on water management, the mass transit system and other issues.  Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said the central government could, for example, bring maximum benefits to city residents in integrating the city’s mass-transportation systems. At present the systems operate independently, but the government could help set up a joint maintenance centre.
Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said the party had not yet conducted any opinion polls as it wanted to see the results of other polls first.
Responding to the Democrat Party’s concern that in the final stretch of the campaign before the March 3 ballot parties would resort to mudslinging, Phumtham said Pheu Thai would follow the PM’s policy of thinking positive, Phumtham said.
Democrats take to Skytrain
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and governor candidate MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra campaigned for votes in the Klong Chan community and at Bang Kapi market yesterday morning. They were warmly greeted by traders in both areas.
In the afternoon, Abhisit and Sukhumbhand took the Skytrain from Morchit to Victory Monument to meet voters in the area before hopping back on the light-rail system and getting off for visits to talk to voters at Siam, Chitlom and Asoke stations. 
Abhisit said the Democrt Party’s policy on traffic congestion is to promote greater use of mass-transit systems. 
Campaign vows often broken: poll
Of the 3,631 respondents to an Abac poll surveyed from February 8-15, 46 per cent said they were disappointed with previous Bangkok governors because they did not fulfil campaign promises; while 11 per cent said former governors had failed to solve the problems of the capital. 
A further 7.8 per cent believed they were corrupt; 6.9 per cent said promised help was delayed (for example, some have still not received promised flood compensation); and 6.5 per cent said some governors had bought votes.
About 34 per cent of those responding to the survey said they wanted the Bangkok governor to be given more power because they believed the capital’s problems would be solved more effectively and the governor would have less political interference to deal with; while 19 per cent said the governor had enough power.
Around 22 per cent wanted the new governor to solve traffic congestion; 12 per cent wanted measures to alleviate the rising cost of living; 8 per cent wanted anti-drug measures; 5 per cent wanted to see less garbage and cleaner water; and 4 per cent wanted the capital to be free of crime. 

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