Sukhumbhand plans break from politics if he loses

Bangkok governor candidate Sukhumbhand Paribatra says he plans to take a break from politics if he loses Sunday's election.

  • Published: 26/02/2013 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Campaign hoardings for the Bangkok governor election crowd the pavement in front of Robinson Department Store on Ratchadaphisek Road. Pedestrians have complained the hoardings make it hard to move. THANARAK KHOONTON

But he insisted Monday he would continue working for his Democrat Party even without a political position.

The former governor said he is not disheartened by opinion surveys that place him consistently behind his rival Pheu Thai Party candidate, Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen.

MR Sukhumbhand said he would not focus on any particular group of voters during the campaign's final days. He said each part of the electorate is equally important to him.

"Two voters came to me and said I had the votes of 20 people in their households," he said. "All I need is another 999,980 votes to reach a million."

Pol Gen Pongsapat, meanwhile, said he would continue to canvass for voters until the final minute.

Pheu Thai deputy spokeswoman Sunisa Lertpakawat said the party would unveil its last tranche of policies tomorrow. The policy package will focus on the creation of supplementary incomes for Bangkok residents, she said.

Deputy city police chief Chanthawit Ramasutra said he had instructed investigators to look into reports the election results had been attracting illegal wagers.

He said he had yet to receive information to back those reports.

City clerk Ninnart Chalitanon said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is prepared for the election, with more than 6,500 electoral officers trained to handle the polls.

A number of complaints have been lodged about unknown names appearing in household eligible voter lists, she said.

She said the false names were registration mistakes and now have been corrected.

On election day, the unofficial voting results should be known around 8pm, followed by official results around 10pm, she said.

Meanwhile, Noppadon Kannika, director of Abac Poll Research Centre, defended opinion polls against criticism from independent candidates.

A number of independent candidates held a bonfire on Sunday to vent their anger against unfavourable polling results.

Mr Noppadon said polls were based on fact. Without polls, academics, politicians and activists would be able to dominate the election with mere judgements and opinions, which could mislead voters, Mr Noppadon said.

He said the protest by independents in which they set fire to a batch of fake results inside a mock-up coffin may not be a proper course of action.

Mr Noppadon said Abac Poll served as a political observer to promote democracy and did not aim to gain personal benefits from politicians. He said professional research always outlasts political power, which comes and goes.

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Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth
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