Pattaya’s mayor paid respect to the city’s spiritual father on his last day in office, expressing confidence his hand-picked successor will prevail at the ballot box in May.
Sonthaya Kunplome and his deputies paid their respects to the King Taksin the Great monument and other revered deities in the city hall grounds on March 25, the last day of their appointed terms.
Sonthaya will not run for mayor in the May 22 election, but selected former deputy mayor, MP and Culture Ministry assistant minister Poramet Ngampichet to run in his stead.
He touted his achievements during more than three years in office, saying he had positioned the city as the center of the Eastern Economic Corridor.
Sonthaya said he believes his Rao Rak Pattaya (We Love Pattaya) group of mayoral and city council candidates will win the city’s first elections in 10 years May 22.
Despite being a political operative in Chonburi for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who in 2018 appointed him mayor, Sonthaya denied being part of Prayut’s ruling Palang Patcharath Party and reiterated that the city administration has good relations with all political parties and work closely together for the good of the people.