Officials from the new, Palang Chon “Chonburi Power” Party said they were pleased to have won the sixth slot on ballots for July’s general election.
Twenty-six political parties will field candidates in the July 3 vote for parliament. In a random drawing, the ruling Democratic Party won the right to be listed 10th and leading opposition party Puea Thai won the coveted first slot. Pundits believe parties listed higher on the ballot garner more votes.
Apichat Sukakkanon, chairman of the Election Commission, presides over the random drawing to determine where each political party will be listed on the July 3 ballot.
Palang Chon, backed by Chonburi’s homegrown political Kunplome dynasty, will field 20 candidates, including Sukumol Kunplome, wife of Sonthaya Kunplome, who was banned from politics for five years after serving as Tourism & Sports minister for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Other Palang Chon candidates include former Pattaya Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and Poramate Ngampichet, son of former cabinet minister Sansak Ngampichet.
More than 2,000 people turned out at Bangkok’s Thai-Japan Youth Sports Center to watch the ballot lottery. The mood was both festive and tense, with many believing the fate of their factions depended on how far down the long list of parties they would land.
Cheers and jubilant laughter broke out when Puea Thai, still backed by Thaksin, pulled the No. 1 ball from the hopper. Hoping to return to power after being stripped of the premiership by courts in 2008, Puea Thai officials saw it as a sign of good things to come.
Puea Thai has named Thaksin’s sister, Yinglak Shinawatra, as its leader. If the red shirt backed party wins a majority in the July poll, the woman Thaksin this month called his “clone” will become Thailand’s first female prime minister.
In other lottery results, the Bhum Jai Thai Party, which the Kunplome clan left this month in a show of independence from the ruling coalition, won ballot slot No. 16. Major coalition partner Chat Thai Pattana will be listed 21st.