Pheu Thai win at Roi Et polls fuels party's landslide hopes

Pheu Thai win at Roi Et polls fuels party's landslide hopes

Seksit Vainiyompong thanks voters after the close of polling for provincial administration organisation chief in Roi Et on Sunday. Unofficial results showed he was the clear winner. (Photo: Seksin Vainiyompong Facebook account)
Seksit Vainiyompong thanks voters after the close of polling for provincial administration organisation chief in Roi Et on Sunday. Unofficial results showed he was the clear winner. (Photo: Seksin Vainiyompong Facebook account)

Pheu Thai Party leaders are buoyed for a big win in the coming general election after a decisive victory in Sunday's provincial government election in Roi Et - a month after a landslide triumph in Kalasin.

Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew said on Monday that the party's win in the election for chief of the provincial administration organisation (PAO) was a clear message that voters wanted a change in national leadership.

Dr Cholnan said for Pheu Thai to rise to power and administer the country would require the voters to carry the party to a landslide victory in the general election.

There are 500 seats in the House of Representatives at stake in the elections due no later than May next year. Pheu Thai is hoping to win at least 376 seats, so that it could block senators from selecting the prime minister. The non-elected Senate has 250 seats.

The constitution requires a prime minister to receive a majority vote from a joint sitting of the lower and upper houses, or 376 votes.

The two houses endorsed Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister after the 2019 elections. He represented the Palang Pracharath Party, although he did not stand in the election. 

"Without a landslide win, you are not able to select the government you support. You will get a prime minister you do not elect," the Pheu Thai leader said.

Pheu Thai candidate Seksit Vainiyompong had overwhelming support when winning the election for PAO chief in Roi Et on Sunday, with 301,187 votes. Two former Palang Pracharath members, Jureeporn Sindhuprai and Ratchanee Pholseu, were far behind with 126,649 and 116,027 votes, respectively.

It was a repeat of the PAO election outcome in Kalasin on Aug 16, when Pheu Thai's Chalemkwan Lortrakul brought in 249,093 votes, 90,000 more than her closest rival Chanuvat Waramitr.

"Thank you voters in Roi Et who put their trust in Pheu Thai and Mr Seksit," de facto party leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra wrote in her Facebook post.

Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Thanchararuangthong said the results of the local elections in Roi Et and Kalasin were positive signs for the party, with the general election on the horizon.

"People have run out of patience. They want an election to elect a leader who can give them hope," he said.

Phue Thai has not yet announced its candidate for prime minister at the general election. 

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