Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, a former core leader of the defunct Thai Rak Thai Party, has backed deputy national police chief Pongsapat Pongcharoen as a candidate for Bangkok governor.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, left, meets with Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, centre, a former key figure of the disbanded Thai Rak Thai Party, at the Matichon Building on Pracha Niwet Road in Bangkok. The Matichon media group celebrated the 36th anniversary of its founding yesterday.
Khunying Sudarat was earlier speculated to be a potential candidate to compete for the governor seat on the Pheu Thai Party ticket.
She said she admired Pol Gen Pongsapat, who also heads the Office of the Narcotics Control Board.
Pol Gen Pongsapat is well-suited as a candidate due to his experience as a civil servant, she said, adding that he is well known among the media.
Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen (File photo)
Pol Gen Pongsapat, however, has not yet announced if he will contest in the race for governor.
The election is slated for March 3.
Khunying Sudarat denied she had wanted to nominate herself for the Pheu Thai candidacy.
The party is expected to name its candidate on Sunday.
On Tuesday, Pheu Thai Party spokesman Jirayu Huangsap said ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra had told the party members via Skype that he feels Pol Gen Pongsapat has what it takes to be governor.
Meanwhile, Udomdej Rattanasathien yesterday said he quit as government chief whip due to health concerns.
He denied a report indicating he stepped down because the Pheu Thai Party is not fielding Khunying Sudarat as its candidate for governor.
Mr Udomdej, who is a member of the Pheu Thai faction headed by Khunying Sudarat, told a radio programme yesterday he submitted his resignation letter on Nov 26 during the no-confidence debate.
His resignation took effect two days later when parliament was in recess.
He said after undergoing balloon dilation of clogged blood vessels on Sept 27 last year, doctors advised him to take better care of his health, prompting him to think about resigning.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had already acknowledged his resignation, but he did not want it to be in the news.
Ms Yingluck echoed that Mr Udomdej did not quit due to dissatisfaction with the party's candidate selection for the Bangkok governor election.
She acknowledged that his resignation was for personal reasons.
About the author
Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth & Patsara Jikkham