Pheu Thai celebrates landslide victory in Chiang Mai by-election

Pheu Thai celebrates landslide victory in Chiang Mai by-election

CHIANG MAI : Pheu Thai Party candidate Kasem Nimmonrat won a landslide victory in a by-election in Chiang Mai's Constituency3 yesterday against the Democrats' Kalayakorn Jiemkijwattana.

Mr Kasem's victory had been expected as the province is a stronghold of the red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), which supports Pheu Thai.

Mr Kasem received 72,033 votes and Mrs Kalayakorn 18,800 votes in the constituency which has 136,225 eligible voters, according to an unofficial result released yesterday evening by the Chiang Mai election office.

Trailing a distant third was Anucha Rungtanont, from the Puea Pandin Party, with 1,123 votes.

Officials said the poll turnout was about 67%.

The by-election was called to fill the seat left vacant by Chinnicha Wongsawat, daughter of former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat and Yaowapa, the younger sister of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Ms Chinnicha was stripped of her status as a Pheu Thai Party MP for making a false asset and liabilities declaration.

Constituency 3 covers three districts including San Kamphaeng, Mae On and Doi Saket.

Mr Kasem, chairman of Pheu Thai's Chiang Mai branch, is Ms Yaowapa's close aide.

Mrs Kalayakorn is the wife of Terdsak Jiamkijwattana, alias "Tong Wihok", a Chiang Mai yellow shirt leader and a community radio host.

Mr Terdsak's father Settha was killed in a knife attack in Chiang Mai during a rally by the red shirts in 2008.

Boonrat Wongyai, president of Chiang Mai's Election Commission, said colour-coded politics had declined recently allowing all candidates to campaign without incident.

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