Pheu Thai picks Pongsapat as candidate
The Pheu Thai Party's executive board yesterday made a unanimous decision to field Pongsapat Pongcharoen in the race for Bangkok governor.The Pheu Thai Party's executive board yesterday made a unanimous decision to field Pongsapat Pongcharoen in the race for Bangkok governor.
Pongsapat is expected to resign today from his concurrent positions as deputy National Police chief and secretary-general of the Office of Narcotics Control Board. Tomorrow, he will formally take up membership of the Pheu Thai Party ahead of candidacy registration on January 25.
"Pongsapat is a senior police officer with great human relations skills and a good track record on addressing the grievances of city residents," Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said.
Phumtham voiced hope that Pongsapat, if elected, would lead the city administration to new heights.
All three chairmen of Pheu Thai zones responsible for the capital backed Pongsapat's candidacy, paving the way for the ruling party to pick him without any contest, party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said.
In swaying votes, Phumtham is slated to work as campaign manager. And Thai Rak Thai veteran Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan will assist in the campaigning.
The ruling party has issued a ban on its government appointees from getting involved in the campaigning in order to avoid facing complaints on electoral rules.
In another development, Pheu Thai decided to endorse the candidacy of Pahol Worapanya for the Lop Buri byelection on February 9.
Deputy Education Minister Sermsak Pongpanit is to take charge of running the campaign for Pahol.
The Democrat Party will campaign for the gubernatorial race under the slogan "Love Bangkok, Build Bangkok", its campaign manager Ong-art Klampaiboon said.
Ong-art said the campaign would highlight the capital's seven features - safety, happiness, green and cleanliness, learning, opportunity, centre for all citizens and centre for Asean.
The party is inviting Bangkok residents to share their thoughts with its candidate MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra via his website, Facebook and Twitter.
Sukhumbhand will today kickstart his campaign rally at Yaowarat, known as Bangkok's Chinatown.
Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said the rival Pheu Thai had snubbed the Bangkok residents by boasting it could win the race even if it fielded an electricity pole for governor.
Aspiring independent candidate Kosit Suvinijjit unveiled his four main platforms for the race.
If elected, Kosit said he would devote his attention to traffic woes, education development, preparations for the Asean Economic Community and 24-hour services to ensure safety.
He said the city officials would work around the clock, comprising three shifts.
In order to tackle traffic woes, he said the first priority is to install more road signs to direct motorists to their destinations, he said.
In regard to education development, the city administration would set up demonstration schools designed to upgrade learning standards, he promised.
The city schools would access high-speed Internet services and satellite broadcasts to allow teachers and students to share their learning experiences.
The city administration will launch 20-megabyte Wi-Fi hotspots in public places.
The city services will be made competitive with those offered by Singapore in order to attract head offices of international companies. Bangkok will offer the same tax rate of 17 per cent as Singapore.
On the cultural front, the capital will strive to become a hub for Asean cultures. It is destined to become the Hollywood of Asia.
On the security front, the city administration will install security cameras and street lights at all high-risk areas in 50 districts.
All taxi services will have the GPS tracking system to enable passengers to check their routes as well as notify family members of their whereabouts.