Activist ex-district chief joins crowded field for Pattaya mayor

Sakchai Taengho, former chief of Banglamung district said that he still is close to Pattaya and wants to continue to serve its residents, so he is running for mayor in the next city elections.

The field of those running for Pattaya mayor in May got more crowded with a former Banglamung district chief throwing his hat into the ring.

Sakchai Taengho, who served as district chief from 2013-2014, before taking over as the Interior Ministry’s Department of Provincial Administration, said March 19 that although he retired from the civil service, he still is close to Pattaya and wants to continue to serve its residents.

Sakchai said he was proud of all his achieved during his activist term as district chief. During his tenue, Sakchai earned recognition by rooting out illegal gambling, heading numerous raids on illegal casinos.

He also came down hard on rich scofflaws, like the owner of the Boutique Hotel, which built multiple additional floors on the South Pattaya hotel without permission. Sakchai ordered the resort demolished and continued to press the case until it was. He also went after property owners encroaching on the South Pattaya Canal, setting the stage for its eventual clearance.

Now, with Pattaya’s economy battered by two years of pandemic, he wants to rebuild the city’s power and reclaim its place as a prominent international resort.
If elected, he pledged to make quick changes to “business as usual” in Pattaya, focusing on Thai tourism to rebuild the economy and heavily market 2-4-star hotels, which have suffered the most.

Sakchai said his experience as a high-ranking bureaucrat means he has great connections with the Finance and Interior ministries, ensuring he can obtain and quickly procure solid budgets from Bangkok.

Sakchai said he was wooed by several political parties, but decided to run as an independent so he is not saddled with special-interest policies he disagrees with.

With no infrastructure or financial support of a party, and no experience in elected politics, Sakchai faces a steep road to election. He not only must defeat the Kunplome clan’s nominee to continue the family’s 30-year-stranglehold on Pattaya – either current Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome or family ally and ex-MP Poramet Ngampichet – as well as another former mayor and the nominee of the progressive Move Forward Party.

The election will be held May 28.