Democrats roll out campaign plans

Democrats roll out campaign plans

ฺCandidates for Bangkok governor are campaigning for their votes. From left are Kodist Suvinitjit, Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, MR Sukhumbhang Paribatra and Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen..
ฺCandidates for Bangkok governor are campaigning for their votes. From left are Kodist Suvinitjit, Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, MR Sukhumbhang Paribatra and Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen..

The Democrat Party has rolled out a three-point campaign strategy which it believes will help its candidate for Bangkok governor to win the March 3 poll after an Abac poll on Friday put Pheu Thai Party candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen in the lead.

Democrat campaign manager Ong-Art Klampaiboon on Sunday said the strategy was designed to draw more support from undecided voters for MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra after the results of the Abac opinion poll put Pol Gen Pongsapat ahead of the pack on all measures gauging the popularity of candidates. 

Mr Ong-Art said the party, from today, would focus at three points for MR Sukhumbhand’s campaign which included:

1. Introduce only reality-based and non-exaggerated policies which can be truly materialised after MR Sukhumbhand is re-elected.

2. Showing the public that MR Sukhumbhand is not a daydreamer, but a hard working, competent man who likes to create work rather than an image. A reachable and reliable governor.

3. Showing MR Sukhumbhand as a serious and sincere man who is ready to continue his work to develop Bangkok.

Mr Ong-Art said the party would soon distribute pamphlets featuring 10 concrete policies, 16 issues deemed urgent to implement and MR Sukhumbhand’s accomplishments during his tenure as Bangkok governor.   

Every Friday, the party will hold small political rallies around the city – 10 spots in northern Bangkok, one in the east, one on the Thon Buri side of Bangkok and two in inner city areas. Party MPs will be sent out to help at the rallies.  

The Democrat’s move came after Noppadon Kannika, director of Abac Poll at Assumption University, warned the opposition and its candidate to improve their campaign strategy or face the prospect of defeat in the upcoming Bangkok governor election. 

MR Sukhumbhand was earlier considered a favourite to win as Bangkok is traditionally a Democrat stronghold.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has admitted the race is tight but said the campaign is in the early stages and the party and MR Sukhumbhand will present more concrete policies to voters soon. 

Pol Gen Pongsapat, meanwhile, revealed a plan to revive Bangkok's trams, which were in service decades ago.

He promised to construct a 12-15km air conditioned tram route with 12 stations around Rattanakosin Island.

The project is estimated to cost 700 million baht and will help to boost tourism and revenue for the BMA as well as reduce pollution. He said it would also help with traffic problems caused by large tour buses on sightseeing trips.

Pol Gen Pongsapat earlier pledged to make passenger boat services and all 1,600 non-air conditioned buses in the city, including privately run mini buses, free as part of his platform.

Chavalit Methayapraphas, president of the Thai Boats Association, on Sunday hailed the move, saying it would directly benefit city dwellers and lead to the improvement of piers and services.

However, Wittaya Premjit, president of the Private Bus Development Association, opposed the free bus policy. 

He said operators’ revenue had already been affected by the government’s current policy that provides 800 free non-air conditioned buses and they may have to close down their businesses if the proposed scheme is implemented.

He said the project should not use taxpayers’ money and whether it is approved should be the responsibility of the Transport Minsitry.

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