Pheu Thai chooses three as PM candidates

Pheu Thai chooses three as PM candidates

(From left) Former justice minister Chaikasem Nitisiri, ex-transport minister Chadchart Sittipunt and Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan at the Pheu Thai party's meeting on Dec 30 last year. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
(From left) Former justice minister Chaikasem Nitisiri, ex-transport minister Chadchart Sittipunt and Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan at the Pheu Thai party's meeting on Dec 30 last year. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

Pheu Thai has chosen three as its prime ministerial candidates while pro-regime Palang Pracharath will officially ask Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to be its PM candidate on Friday.

The three Pheu Thai PM candidates are former agriculture minister Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, ex-transport minister Chadchart Sittipunt and former justice minister Chaikasem Nitisiri.

Pheu Thai members and executives met on Thursday to consider its PM candidates and party-list MPs.

After eight hours, secretary-general Poomtham Vechayachai said five had been proposed as PM candidates. In addition to the trio, the names of deputy prime minister Pol Lt Gen Viroj Pao-in and former finance minister Kittiratt Na Ranong were put on the table. Pol Lt Gen Viroj later pulled out of the race, saying he was already the first on the party list.

Mr Poomtham said Pheu Thai would field 250 constituency MPs — 51 in the North, 112 in the Northeast, 55 in the Central region, 10 in the South and 22 in Bangkok.

"We're confident of winning them all with more than 70,000 votes each so we get more votes for the party," he said, referring to the estimated average number of votes to win in each constituency.

For its party list, Mr Poomtham said the meeting agreed on 100 candidates, including the three PM candidates.

Last week, the Democrat party announced Abhisit Vejjajiva as its only PM candidate while Bhumjaithai said Anutin Charnveerakul would be its man.   

Prayut to be proposed

Uttama Savanayana, leader of Palang Pracharath, will meet Prime Minister Prayut on Friday evening to formally ask him to be the party's prime minister candidate.

It was reported earlier the party would also field Somkid Jatusripitak and Mr Uttama himself as the other two candidates.

Earlier on Thursday, Palang Pracharath introduced another 50 MP candidates for the South.

EC getting ready     

The Election Commission said on Thursday it had launched the "Smart Vote" mobile application on both Android and iOS platforms. As of 8pm, the database was not ready although the app could be installed.

In addition to giving knowledge on the March 24 poll, the app allows voters to check and locate their polling stations, as well as studying the qualifications of candidates.

The app also has copies of the 2017 Constitution, election-related laws and EC's regulations, as well as instructions on what to do if a voter is not able to cast the ballot.

Voters can also use the app to check their party membership status and report to the EC about possible election frauds.

Also on Thursday, the EC announced its regulations on campaign posters.

The number of posters for each candidate must not exceed two times the number of polling stations in his/her constituency. The maximum size is 130cm x 245cm.

Each party can put up as many large posters as the number of polling stations in each constituency.

Violators will be informed and asked to rectify the situation within a given period. After that, the EC would remove the poster, charge the candidates for the expenses and file charges.

The posters may be put up in sois but not at the mouths, power poles or roadside trees. Prohibited places are traffic lanes, traffic islands, pedestrian bridges, the fences and walls of official buildings, bus stops, telephone booths, postboxes, police booths, public gardens, all roads surrounding palaces, the Royal Plaza and Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok.

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