Yaowapa wins by-election in landslide
Yaowapa: 'Satisfied with every vote'
- Published: 21/04/2013 at 11:21 PM
- Online news:
The Pheu Thai Party's Yaowapa Wongsawat romped home to victory in a by-election in Chiang Mai's Constituency 3 Sunday, gaining more than 70,000 votes.
Ms Yaowapa won more than three times as many votes of her nearest rival, Kingkan Na Chiang Mai of the Democrat Party.
Unofficial voting results at 6.20pm Sunday, which included the counts from all 309 polling units, showed Ms Yaowapa with 70,181 votes. Ms Kingkan came in second with 21,979 votes.
Ms Yaowapa will fill the seat vacated by Pheu Thai's Kasem Nimmonrat, who resigned as an MP on March 13, citing health problems.
Constituency 3, which covers San Kamphaeng, Doi Saket and Mae On districts, has 138,684 eligible voters. Of these, 103,364, or 74.5% of the total, cast their votes.
WAI OF APPROVAL: Newly elected MP Yaowapa Shinawatra Wongsawat got the seal of approval from Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung minutes after her election was announced on Sunday. (Bangkok Post photo)
Speaking after the poll results were declared, Ms Yaowapa told voters she will do her best to serve Chiang Mai.
"I am satisfied with every vote and thank you for all the support," Ms Yaowapa said.
Ms Yaowapa, a younger sister of Thaksin Shinawatra and older sister of current premier Yingluck Shinawatra, makes her return to parliament after being banned from politics for five years.
A party source said Thaksin has entrusted Ms Yaowapa, a former Chiang Mai MP, with the task of ensuring Pheu Thai MPs follow the party line and work together.
However, some are concerned that her return will invite more resistance against the ruling party and the Shinawatra family.
A Pheu Thai source said several party MPs are unhappy about the prospect of having to vote for controversial bills such as the charter amendment bills, amnesty bills and the bill to borrow 2 trillion baht to fund the overhaul of the national infrastructure.
Many Pheu Thai members disagree with these bills, the source said. They believe the bills would lead to more conflicts if they become law, but party seniors are pressuring them to support them.
Ms Yaowapa was formerly deputy party leader of the Thai Rak Thai Party and among 111 executives banned for electoral fraud. The ban expired last year.
Pheu Thai still lacks a key figure who can handle the task of controlling MPs and dealing with independent organisations, the source said.
Ms Yaowapa's return to parliament should strengthen unity among Pheu Thai MPs, although at the same time she and the party could face more pressure from outside parliament, the source said.
The source added the party's key figures do not want Ms Yaowapa to become a target for attack, given that she is Thaksin's younger sister.
Turning Ms Yaowapa into a substitute prime minister won't be easy for the party, should "a political accident" befall Ms Yingluck and her sister have to step in, the source said.
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Writer: Nattaya Chetchotiros and Cheewin Sattha