Candidates pin hopes on women
The four female candidates in the Bangkok governor race are pinning their hopes on winning votes from women voters.
- Published: 11/02/2013 at 12:37 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Jongjit Hirunlabh, an independent Bangkok goveror candidate, meets vendors during a campaign stop at the Victory Monument Sunday. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)
The candidates are Jongjit Hirunlabh (No.12), Nannapatt Kosaiyakanon (No.18), Thoranee Rittheethamrong (No.21) and Rawiwan Sutthiwirasan (No.23). The Bangkok Post spoke to two of them - Ms Jongjit and Ms Nannapatt.
"Women, academics and undecided voters are my target groups. An advantage [for me] is that Bangkok has more women than men," said Ms Jongjit, a former professor at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi.
Bangkok has a registered residential population of 5.7 million people. Of these, about 3 million are women and 2.7 million are men.
Boasting a PhD in energy from France's University of Nice, Ms Jongjit, 57, recently resigned from academia to embark on a political career. She said she wanted to use her academic prowess to improve her hometown.
"Today, women are no longer inferior to men and Thailand now has its first female prime minister. Why not the first female Bangkok governor? This may be the right time," Ms Jongjit said.
She said Bangkok residents have grown so bored with politics that many of them are longing for someone who is free from political influence to improve the city academically and systematically.
Ms Jongsit's campaign slogan is "Bonjour Bangkok Clean City", with a platform focusing on developing clean energy. Her policies include building a waste water treatment facility, promoting recycling and developing green areas.
To boost the safety of Bangkok's female residents, Ms Jongjit is proposing more closed-circuit cameras and better lighting throughout the city.
She will also employ an academic approach to improving Bangkok.
"As a scientist, some difficult tasks will be easier for me," she said.
Ms Nannapatt, meanwhile, acknowledges that about half of Bangkok's 4 million eligible voters are likely to cast their ballots in favour of their preferred parties, rather than individual candidates.
"I would like undecided voters to consider independent runners," she said.
"We are working hard to come up with policies to improve Bangkok without a script from a political party.
"Voters can be sure that we will work for people's benefits without any political interest."
Ms Nannapatt, 52, said she believed it will be an advantage for the Bangkok governor to be a woman. "Women are gentler and more flexible than men. These are qualities the Bangkok governor will need to work successfully in the current political atmosphere," she said.
She said if she won the election, all women would be allowed to come to her office to share their own problems and their hopes for Bangkok. Her campaign, with a slogan of "Delivery Governor", includes a proposal that the governor meets residents at least once a week to listen to their grievances.
Her priorities are tackling traffic congestion, making the city safer, and improving the quality of education in schools under City Hall's administration.
"I am working hard with a strong intention to develop Bangkok and I want to pave the way for real public participation in local politics," she said.
SmithSmittinand, an independent candidate in the Bangkokgovernor election,makesa campaign stop at Vachirabenjatas Park, commonly known as Rot Fai Park (Railway Park) yesterday. PORNPROM SATTRABHAYA
About the author
- Writer: Lamphai Intathep
- Position: Reporter