Pheu Thai undecided over gubernatorial candidate
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday that the decision to have deputy national police chief Pol General Pongsaphat Pongcharoen run for Bangkok governor was entirely up to the ruling Pheu Thai Party.
However, Pongsaphat, who recently took over as secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), said he was not interested in running for the governor's post and instead wanted to continue his battle against drugs.
People have been speculating that Pheu Thai has no option but to nominate Pongsaphat for the gubernatorial poll because no strong candidate has emerged so far. He is seen as a hero for crime victims and has often stepped in to lend a hand in high-profile cases.
When asked whether her party would field Pongsaphat in the gubernatorial race early next year, Yingluck said Pheu Thai had not made a final decision yet.
She chaired a meeting with senior police officers at the Police Club on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road early yesterday to inform them of the government's policies for 2013. Newly appointed Police Commissioner-General Pol General Adul Saengsingkaew and Pongsaphat were at hand to receive her. Also in attendance was Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung.
Chalerm said the ruling party had yet to discuss whom it would field in the gubernatorial elections, adding that he wanted Pongsaphat to continue working at the ONCB because he was better at that job.
Pongsaphat also insisted that he would not contest for the post "for now".
"I am not interested in that field and prefer to continue working with the police force," he said, adding that he was enjoying his work at the ONCB.
He said he was not surprised that his name came up as a possible candidate because he was mentioned every time there was an election.
"Even [former prime minister] Thaksin [Shinawatra] called to congratulate me. However, when I met the prime minister today, we only talked about drug suppression. Besides, I've only been working at the ONCB for three days," Pongsaphat said.