Pheu Thai set to back Pongsapat in city poll
Pheu Thai is expected to announce deputy national police chief Pol General Pongsapat Pongcharoen as its candidate for Bangkok governor, once a royal decree calling for the election comes into effect, a party source said yesterday.The source declined to elaborate on why the party had to wait until the election date was announced.
Bangkok's Election Commission (EC) could not set the date yet because it depended on incumbent Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra's decision, said Bangkok's EC chairman Pol Lt-General Thaweesak Tuchinda.
According to local administration organisation laws, if Sukhumbhand stays until his term ends on January 10, the election must be held within 45 days, or by February 17. But if he resigns before his scheduled term-end the election must take place within 60 days, or by March 3.
Thaweesak urged Sukhumbhand to resign before his term ends, warning that otherwise he may risk violating election laws. Earlier, the Democrats said Sukhumband would decide when his term ended but he had not yet set a date.
Pheu Thai expects Sukhumbhand to resign before his term ends, to enable a longer election campaign.
The source said Pheu Thai and Pongsapat, who also serves as secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board, did not violate any election laws with advertising posters promoting his achievements in a drugs crackdown. The posters appeared across Bangkok and featured a picture of Pongsapat alongside Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
"We have not said we will field him as a candidate. And neither has Pongsapat said he will run for election. But if we announce him as our candidate he will definitely remove the posters," the source said.
Thaweesak said there was no law prohibiting candidates being pictured with "important" persons in their campaign banners, but said they should beware of violating the law with the wording in their campaign messages.