Pheu Thai's candidate for the Bangkok governor election is making campaign pledges which could be in breach of the law, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva says.
MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, the Democrat Party’s candidate for Bangkok governor, eats khao lam —sticky rice mixed with coconut milk and grilled in a bamboo trunk—as he meets vendors during a campaign stop at the Victory Monument yesterday. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD
Mr Abhisit said Pongsapat Pongcharoen is promising to do things outside the jurisdiction of the Bangkok governor.
His pledges include reducing the rent on stalls at Chatuchak market and expanding Bangkok's free bus service scheme to include all non-aircon buses.
The State Railway of Thailand has taken over operations at the market from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) while authority to oversee transport comes under the Transport Ministry, not the BMA, he said.
Mr Abhisit has called on the Election Commission (EC) to investigate whether Pol Gen Pongsapat is making unwarranted promises which could mislead voters.
The EC says candidates campaigning in local elections must tell voters what they can do within the authority of that elected office, Mr Abhisit said.
The EC should monitor all candidates and ensure they comply with the law, he added.
Mr Abhisit also admitted MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, the Democrat Party's candidate in the governor race, has to work harder to communicate with voters.
During his four-year stint as Bangkok governor, MR Sukhumbhand experienced some difficult times and had little opportunity to explain himself, Mr Abhisit said.
Pol Gen Pongsapat met City Hall staff yesterday during a campaign stopover at the BMA.
He promised to set up 38 one-stop district offices to provide public services around the clock.
He said he will have small garbage incinerators installed in local communities to reduce garbage build-up.
He also pledged to ensure that buses arrive at bus stops every five minutes.
He also said commuters will be able to travel to their destinations without changing buses.
All 4,975 bus stops in the capital will be upgraded, he said.
He said he had 12 other key policies, but only revealed six of them yesterday.
These are free services on all non-air conditioned buses and a 10-baht flat rate for air-conditioned ones as well as reducing the maximum skytrain fare to 20 baht.
He also pledged to combat drug problems, curb crime, solve traffic congestion and prevent floods.
He said he will reveal the other policies in the next 10 days.
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said yesterday all 250 party MPs nationwide will help Pol Gen Pongsapat canvass for votes in all of Bangkok's 50 districts.
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- Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth