Bangkok governor resigns to seek 'renewed term'

Bangkok governor resigns to seek 'renewed term'

After much anticipation, Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang announced on Thursday his resignation as Bangkok governor and plan to run as an independent in the city gubernatorial election expected in May.

Pol Gen Aswin, who was appointed by the coup-engineer National Council for Peace and Order in 2016, said yesterday he has submitted his resignation to Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda.

He said he will run for a "renewed term", to complete the work he had initiated over the past "five years, five months and five days" on the job.

Speaking at City Hall, he said he had put into action ambitious policies which his predecessors failed to implement over the previous 10-20 years. He wanted to remain Bangkok governor to complete this development.

Pol Gen Aswin said he would contest the election as an independent, before adding he has the support of the Raks Krungthep group. He promised to be open to ideas from young people and people with disabilities.

He will introduce his team for the Bangkok council on Monday.

"All the issues over the past five years were tough, but I managed to solve them. I give myself half the total score for my past performance and I will run for a renewed term to get the other half of the score," Pol Gen Aswin said.

He previously served as a deputy of former city governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra. MR Sukhumbhand was dismissed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who appointed Pol Gen Aswin to succeed him in October 2016.

Pol Gen Aswin is the latest high-profile figure to join the gubernatorial race set for May 22. Other independent candidates include Chadchart Sittipunt, Sakoltee Phattiyakul and Rosana Tositrakul. Those representing parties are Suchatvee Suwansawat from the Democrat Party, Move Forward Party's Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn and the Thai Srang Thai Party's Sita Divari.

Pol Gen Aswin describes his rivals as capable people and said voters are fortunate to have many good candidates to choose from.

"But if people feel they are out of candidates to pick, take a look at me," he said.

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