Veteran Bangkok-based political figure Sudarat Keyuraphan yesterday firmly closed the door on a campaign to have her selected as Pheu Thai's candidate for governor, saying she was heartbroken that some supporters might see her as having deserting them.
“I will return to serve in gratitude of your support,” she posted on her Facebook page.
Sudarat said her obligation to complete a project at Lord Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal to pay tribute to Buddhism and honour His Majesty the King was why she had to bow out of the race.
She denied recently flying to Hong Kong to ask for former prime minister Thaksin Shina-watra’s endorsement, saying she had not discussed the issue with Thaksin or his sister, Prime Minister Yingluck Shina-watra. “I did not ask anyone in Pheu Thai to field me as a candidate for the post,” she said.
Sudarat said she hoped her supporters would understand and forgive her, as it was not in her nature to abandon or betray friends. She was duty-bound to complete her religious commitments, even if it caused hard feelings among party backers, she said.
“I share the pains of my colleagues, including MPs, city councillors and district councillors,” she said.
Pending her return to the political scene, she would continue to work with civic groups to propose public policies.
She also asked her faction to respect and endorse the party’s candidate.
In an Abac Poll, meanwhile, about three in 10 Bangkok residents said they want to see a change in governor, while almost the same number was undecided. About one in four intended to vote for the Democrat incumbent, MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, who completes his term next month. The poll for governor is slated for February.
Among potential candidates for the job, Pongsapat Pongcharoen emerged as the favourite at 32.1 per cent, trailed by Sukhumbhand at 31.7 per cent and Seripisut Temiyavet at 14.5 per cent.