BANGKOK – Residents of the Thai capital Bangkok, for the first time in nine years to vote for the governor of their city, have elected an independent politician who is seen as a representative of opponents of the government supported by the military, showed results released early Monday.

According to public opinion polls, Chadchart Citipunt, according to almost complete but uncertified data, received 1,386,215 votes, or almost 52% of the 2,673,696 votes cast in Sunday’s election.

He competed with 31 candidates, with a turnout of just under 61%.

The 55-year-old Chadchart, while acting as an independent, was seen by both supporters and opponents as a proxy for the Pheu Thai party, the main opposition group in parliament. He served as transport minister in the Pheu Thai government in 2012-2014 and was one of the party’s prime ministers in the 2019 general election.


“Now that we have received orders from the people, I would immediately start working, visiting communities and districts to see where I can start my work as governor,” Chadchart told reporters Monday morning. there is a young, energetic team that is committed to moving. ”

The independent candidate, seen as a reserve from the ruling Palang Proharat party, took a weak fifth race. Former Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang, a retired senior police officer, came in fifth with 214,692 votes, or about 8% of the vote.

The 71-year-old Osavin was appointed governor in 2016 by Prayut Chan Ocha, who as army commander seized power in a coup in 2014 and dismissed the previous governor over allegations of corruption. Prayut was reinstated as prime minister after the 2019 election in a coalition government led by the military-backed Palang Proharat party.


In parliament, Prayut, who has been accused of trying to respond to a coronavirus pandemic, is expected to face a no-confidence vote soon, and rumors have long circulated that rivals on his own side are seeking to reject him. Even if he survives, a general election is due by early next year.

Titanin Pongsudhirak, a professor of political science at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, said before the vote that it was the first significant election since the 2014 coup.

“People want to speak out,” he told the Associated Press. “The result, if it is clearly contrary to the ruling Palang Proharat, will be important for parliament, Prayut and distrust.”

However, although the election results in Bangkok discourage Prayut and the ruling party, they are not death.


Although there were ideological reasons that influenced many voters, Chadchart is also one of the country’s most charismatic politicians, campaigning vigorously compared to the relatively colorless bureaucrat Osavin.

More importantly, voters in Bangkok do not necessarily reflect national trends in Thailand, whose electorate is mostly rural. The ruling Palang Proharat party has been able to mobilize many rural voters in the 2019 elections with the help of influential local and provincial political leaders.

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