Governor makes 'work only' pledge

Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra began the first day of his second term at City Hall yesterday by calling on staff to put aside political differences.

MR Sukhumbhand, welcomed by city clerk Ninnat Chalitanont, told a gathering of City Hall officials and workers that the election was behind them.

"I heard some were asked to vote for other candidates," he said. "You can vote for anyone you like. But the election is over and there is nothing you can do about it.

"I am the governor for all, not just for those who voted for me. From now on, there is only work, and no more politics."

MR Sukhumbhand said he would implement measures he had proposed during the election campaign as soon as possible.

The measures include installation of 20,000 surveillance cameras across the city; a 5-baht flat rate fee for BRT buses and a 10-baht flat rate fee for the On Nut-Bearing and Saphan Taksin-Bang Wa BTS extensions, and an interest rate of 0.25-baht at City Hall run pawnshops.

As for his six core policies, MR Sukhumbhand said he would rather not discuss them until he had assembled his executive team.

The 18-member team will likely be appointed by April 1, he said.

The governor shrugged off concerns he may still be disqualified from office. The Election Commission (EC) has yet to conclude an investigation into complaints lodged against him.

"I will clarify things with the EC," he said. "The matter shouldn't keep me from doing my job."

The EC endorsed MR Sukhumbhand's election victory on Wednesday, more than three weeks after he won the governor election on March 3.

MR Sukhumbhand could still be disqualified if the EC finds compelling evidence to present to the Supreme Court's Election Cases Division showing he committed electoral violations.

MR Sukhumbhand was today to inspect a fire prevention and emergency plan at the Fire and Rescue Department and visit drought-hit areas in eastern Bangkok.

About the author

Writer: Supoj Wancharoen
Position: Reporter