Aswin 'not PPRP's man for governor'

Aswin 'not PPRP's man for governor'

Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang
Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang

Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang will not run on the ticket of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) in the next gubernatorial election, says the party's Bangkok election supervisor.

Jakkrapan Pornnimitr, the party's MP for Bangkok and election supervisor in the capital, said yesterday the PPRP had no plan to field Pol Gen Aswin in the poll expected in April.

The incumbent has also given no indication he wants to run under the party's banner.

Mr Jakkrapan said he believed residents want to see Bangkok change for the better.

Pol Gen Aswin was appointed by the coup-installed but since dissolved National Council for Peace and Order to replace MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra in October 2016.

Mr Jakkrapan's comment came as a surprise in light of earlier reports claiming Pol Gen Aswin was being eyed to contest the poll after Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the former national police chief who was tipped as the PPRP's potential candidate, gave up his bid.

The ruling party is now grooming the high-profile Pathum Thani governor Narongsak Osottanakorn as it potential candidate, says a source in the party. Mr Narongsak sprang to fame in 2018 for leading the rescue of the Wild Boar football team and their coach, who were trapped in one of the province's famed cave systems for days. He was known for his decisiveness and strong leadership style. So far, Mr Narongsak has not responded to the rumours.

Yesterday, Mr Jakkrapan said the PPRP has not chosen a governor candidate but it still has time on its side as other major parties have not announced their candidates yet either.

Chadchart Sittipunt, a former transport minister in the previous Yingluck Shinawatra administration, who is running as an independent, has consistently been ahead of other likely candidates in opinion surveys.

Mr Jakkrapan said the PPRP, which won 12 of 30 Bangkok MP seats in the 2019 general election, needs to choose its governor candidate given the party's stature and prominence.

Deputy Prime Minister and PPRP leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwon said on Tuesday the party was still mulling its choices.

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