Jirayu: Sudarat ready to run in Bangkok election

With backing from Pheu Thai's Bangkok MPs, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan has emerged as a strong candidate in the coming election for Bangkok governor, her second bid for the post.

  • Published: 3/12/2012 at 05:13 PM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Deputy Pheu Thai spokesman Jirayu Huangsap on Monday confirmed her readiness to represent the senior government party in the polls set for Feb 17.

"Khunying Sudarat is ready,'' he said. It is the first time that her backers have made clear her decision to run for the capital city's leadership.

Khunying Sudarat could not be reached for comment.

Mr Jirayu said he and a group of Pheu Thai MPs talked with her on Sunday and she showed her intention to make another try at for the job of running the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

However, the final decision still rests with a Pheu Thai Party meeting on Dec 25, which it will formally announce the party's endorsed candidate.

"We don't have to rush it, because we are a challenger,'' he added.

Mr Jirayu, a Bangkok MP, said a consensus on the candidacy would be settled before the key meeting.

Khunying Sudarat's strengths are solid support from Pheu Thai MPs and city and district councillors in the capital.

Other people with the potential to compete with Khunying Sudarat for the party's endorsement include Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi.

The problem is "will he sacrifice his cabinet post?'' Mr Jirayu said.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen, once tipped as being a target for the candidacy, has said he had never been in talks with the ruling party.

"We already have a female prime minister. Why shouldn't we have the first female Bangkok governor?'' Mr Jirayu said.

Two close aides to Khunying Sudarat, Sidha Thiwaree and Vichan Meechainan, told Thai Rath that they were not aware of her decision.

But Mr Vichan, a Pheu Thai MP for Bangkok and another member of her faction, said she was well qualified to run for the position.

Current Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra has declared his wish to run for a second term under the Democrat Party banner, or even as an independent candidate. The Democrats have not made a decision whether to field him for a second term.

Former police chief Pol Gen Seerepisut Taemeeyaves has already offered himself to Bangkok voters, saying he wants to run for the position.

MR Sukhumbhand's term expires on Jan 10.

Khunying Sudarat lost the Bangkok governor election in 2000 to Samak Sundaravej, who later became prime minister.

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