Chiang Mai backs Yaowapa to run for MP
Supporters of the ruling Pheu Thai Party have thrown their weight behind Yaowapa Wongsawat to run in a by-election after her aide stepped down as a member of parliament for Chiang Mai.
- Published: 17/03/2013 at 05:58 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Somnuek Prakobkij, chairman of the village chief and kamnan association in San Kamphaeng district, backed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's younger sister to contest the poll and showed no doubt of her chances of winning as, he said, she was popular with locals in the district and elsewhere.
Her canvassers were reportedly ready for a campaign to take her to parliament.
Yaowapa Wongsawat is a favourite choice for locals to run in a by-election in Chiang Mai. (File photo)
The Election Commission has not set the date for the by-election after Kasem Nimmonrat's resignation.
The Democrat Party has said Mr Kasem's resignation was probably intended to make way for Mrs Yaowapa, the wife of former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat, to return as an MP after being freed from a five-year political ban and take over from Yingluck Shinawatra as prime minister in case Ms Yingluck is disqualified over a loan transaction probe by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said on Sunday Mr Kasem told the party's executive committee and core members that he was resigning for health reasons.
Mr Kasem said he felt he was more suited to serve the people at a local level than at the national level and insisted he had not been forced to resign by any senior figures in the party, Mr Prompong said.
Mr Prompong dismissed as untrue the suggestion that Mrs Yaowapa would run in the by-election to take Mr Kasem's place and be prepared to take over as prime minister.
He said Ms Yingluck had gained wide recognition from the international community as prime minister and the case against her, which is now with the NACC, had not affected her premiership.
Ms Yingluck is being investigated by the NACC over allegations she lent 30 million baht to a company in which her spouse, Anusorn Amornchat, was a shareholder.
The NACC is looking at whether asset concealment was involved.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra helps Pheu Thai Party candidate Kasem Nimmonrat, right, campaign in Chiang Mai's San Kamphaeng district ahead of an MP by-election in Constituency 3 on June 2, 2012 in the province. (File photo)
Mr Prompong said the party's committee for the upper North chaired by Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom would be responsible for picking a candidate to run in the by-election.
If Mrs Yaowapa wanted to run in the by-election, she could make a proposal to the committee for consideration.
The party would begin the selection process after the EC announces the by-election date, he added.
Mr Kasem is chairman of Pheu Thai's Chiang Mai branch in addtion to being a close aide to Mrs Yaowapa.
His career in parliament was short-lived. He easily won the by-election in June last year to fill the seat left vacant by Chinnicha Wongsawat, daughter of Mr Somchai and Mrs Yaowapa, who was stripped of her status as a Pheu Thai Party MP for making a false asset and liabilities declaration.
The by-election will be held in Chiang Mai's Constituency 3 which is a stronghold for Pheu Thai. It includes San Kamphaeng, Mae On and Doi Saket districts.
About the author
- Writer: Cheewin Sattha and Aekarach Sattaburuth