Aswin confirms bid for second term

Aswin confirms bid for second term

Incumbent governor to run without party

After months of speculation, incumbent Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang has finally made it clear for the first time that he intends to run in the capital city's gubernatorial race in May as an independent candidate.

When asked by reporters to confirm rumours that he will resign as governor to seek a second term in office, Pol Gen Aswin said: "That's right.''

Pol Gen Aswin said once he wraps up all of his remaining tasks at City Hall, his election team will hold a press conference to answer any questions on his decision, though he stopped short of saying when.

A source said earlier the governor would step down by March 25 to officially declare his candidacy.

The governor had previously said he would make a decision on the matter once the Election Commission (EC) sets the election date. Last week, the commission said the polls in Bangkok and Pattaya would take place on May 22.

His deputy, Sakoltee Phattiyakul, resigned on March 7 to run for the city's top job, also as an independent.

Other candidates who have announced their intention to run in the race include Chadchart Sittipunt, Suchatvee Suwansawat, Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn and Rossana Tositrakul.

Mr Chadchart and Ms Rossana will run as independent candidates, Mr Suchatvee will run on the Democrat Party's ticket while Mr Wiroj is a Move Forward candidate.

Yesterday, Mr Sakoltee said he will officially unveil his campaign manifesto, which he called "Bangkok Can Do Better", on March 24. He admitted the city is plagued by a myriad of problems and said he would harness his experience as deputy Bangkok governor to tailor solutions for them.

Mr Sakoltee said it will be difficult to predict the outcome of the poll, noting a credible indication of the winner would only be apparent in the three days leading up to the poll. He said he expected to receive at least 200,000 votes and that his biggest rival remains Mr Chadchart, a transport minister under the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.

Meanwhile, Mr Chadchart continues to lead an opinion poll conducted by Thammasat University Research and Consultancy Institute. In second was Mr Suchatvee with 25%, followed by Mr Wiroj with 11%, Pol Gen Aswin (5%), Mr Sakoltee (3%) and Ms Rossana (2%).

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