Bangkok Governor Candidates warm up for March 3 poll
Sukhumbhand vows to make Yaowaraj famous
Pongsapat aims for 'clean' bid to win March 3 pollEx-Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra yesterday vowed to make Yaowaraj famous as the best Chinatown in Southeast Asia if he is re-elected in the poll to be held on March 3. The date for the election was announced yesterday.
Sukhumbhand made the promise while launching his election campaign on Yaowaraj Road. It was his first campaign speech since he stepped down as governor of the Bangkok Metropolitan Adminis-tration last Wednesday.
Sukhumbhand told Yaowaraj residents the area was an important attraction that helped make Bangkok one of the best tourist destinations for three consecutive years.
He said he would push for standardising the quality of food served in roadside stalls and restaurants, and would encourage all eateries to have English menus as well.
Meanwhile, Pheu Thai candidate Pongsapat Pong-charoen said yesterday he would highlight "seamless" cooperation with the government in his election campaign.
Pongsapat was speaking to reporters after he met Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to inform her of his decision to resign as a deputy police commissioner-general and secretary-general of the Office of Narcotics Control Board to contest in the gubernatorial poll.
Pongsapat said he would quit the two positions once the Election Commission issues an official announcement to set the election date, which it has now done. The Royal Thai Police had a rule to allow police officers to resign to contest an election, he said.
"The prime minister gave me moral support and would like me to tell Bangkok residents about my strategy that would enjoy seamless cooperation with the government," Pongsapat said.
He said Yingluck pledged full support for him, if elected as the next Bangkok governor, to drive Bangkok to become the centre of the Asean Economic Cooperation and to solve all problems, as well as pushing for development of the capital.
Pongsapat said he would not attack other candidates during the election campaign but would focus on detailing his vision on how to develop Bangkok to make city residents happy.
The Pheu Thai Sunday announced it has picked Pongsapat as its candidate.
Pongsapat is scheduled to apply for Pheu Thai Party membership today when he announces his policies as the next Bangkok governor.
He would point out to Bangkokians how he would change the city for the better for the sake of its residents. He would focus on close cooperation with the central government.
He said he would not yet announce his team of deputy governors because he had to consult with Pheu Thai's Bangkok councillors and district councillors first.
Pongsapat added he had no conflict with Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, former Thai Rak Thai executive who is regarded as the leader of the group of Pheu Thai Bangkok MPs. Sudarat was earlier considered as the likely Pheu Thai gubernatorial candidate. He said he would welcome Sudarat's help in the election campaigning.
In a related development, Thaweesak Tuchinda, chairman of the Bangkok Election Committee, said the committee resolved yesterday to hold the gubernatorial election on March 3.
He said candidacy registration wold be held on January 21 to 25.
Thaweesak said election candidates could campaign on social networks of all types on condition they did not slander other candidates, oltherwise they could be disqualified.