Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader Prawit Wongsuwon has thrown his support behind former national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda for the upcoming Bangkok governor election, a party source revealed on Sunday.
The PPRP leader, who is also a deputy prime minister, also put Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow in charge of the party's election preparations, the source added.
According to the source -- who attended a PPRP meeting called by Capt Thamanat last week to discuss the poll set to take place in October -- it was clear that the party will support Pol Gen Chakthip, who announced his bid to run in the election back in February.
The source quoted Capt Thamanat as saying that the party will "fully support" Pol Gen Chakthip's bid for the governorship, despite some members being concerned about the legality of his nomination under the current election rules.
In a media interview on Sunday, Pol Gen Chakthip admitted to receiving a phone call from Gen Prawit about the matter. "Gen Prawit asked me to contest the Bangkok election if I'm available and have nothing to do," he said, before adding that he is still open to the idea of competing as an independent candidate.
However, when asked whether the call meant he had secured the whole party's support, Pol Gen Chakthip said: "You'll need to ask [Gen Prawit] yourself."
In a related development, a survey carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida) found that while most Bangkokians are still undecided on their election pick, Chadchart Sittipunt, the transport minister in the Yingluck Shinawatra government, is emerging as a strong contender.
The survey found that 32.6% were still undecided, while 24.7% chose Mr Chadchart, followed by Pol Gen Chakthip at 11.9% and Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang at 8.6%.