Candidates register for by-election in Khon Kaen
Candidates from the Pheu Thai and Palang Pracharath parties showed up to put their names down on the first day of candidacy registration for the Dec 22 by-election to be held in Khon Kaen.
"I'm confident I'll win," Pheu Thai candidate Thanik Maseepitak said on Thursday as he was the first to arrive at an application venue in the province's Nong Rua district.
"I've met many people so far. I know how to approach and communicate with them."
His rival, Somsak Khun-ngern from the Palang Pracharath Party, was the second to apply as a candidate.
Since both were present at the venue before 8.30am, registrar officials were of the opinion that both applicants arrived at the same time and suggested they choose candidate numbers by lot.
Mr Thanik picked number one, which tends to be favoured by candidates.
"No. 1 is a good number as it signals victory," he said happily.
The Pheu Thai Party has decided to field Mr Thanik, believing he can defend its seat in constituency 7 to succeed the party's former representative Nawat Tohcharoensuk, who was stripped of his MP status.
The judges' order followed a ruling handed down by the Khon Kaen Criminal Court who found him guilty of masterminding the murder of a local administrative official six years ago because the victim had an affair with his wife.
He was given the death sentence.
Though Nawat was the former champion of this Pheu Thai stronghold, he only managed to get around 3,000 more votes than his rival Mr Somsak to secure the seat in the constituency.
"I once knew the other candidate [Mr Somsak] well, but I feel sorry for him after he entered the wrong party," said Pheu Thai leader Sompong Amornvivat, who was among Mr Thanik's supporters at the venue.
Mr Sompong said voters will decide which party wins -- the one he claimed represents authoritarianism or the other, Pheu Thai, which always flies the democratic flag.
The Pheu Thai Party plans to run its by-election campaign by meeting people in every village and holding public speeches on its policies.