Bangkok governor to contest second term

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BANGKOK, Dec 28 – Incumbent Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, nominated by the Democrat Party to stand for a second term in the coming gubernatorial election, vowed today to create a “sustainable pleasant metropolis” for city residents.

The Democrat Party, which announced the decision to field Mr Sukhumbhand on Thursday, appointed former Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin to lead the election campaign, while names of the governor’s administrative team have yet to be disclosed.

Mr Sukhumbhand’s term in the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration governorship is due to expire January 10 while the Bangkok election is scheduled for February 17.

Mr Sukhumbhand said he was not concerned with a possible complaint against him on the recent BMA’s signing of an agreement to extend the construction of elevated train line despite the fact that the concession is due to expire in the next 13 years.

He assured that the deal was made in a transparent manner and he had not breached the law.

Bangkok is facing lots of challenges that need to be tackled including traffic congestion, security in the people’s lives and properties and environmental issues, he said.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the decision to field Mr Sukhumbhand for a second term was reached among party executives, selection committee members, Bangkok MPs and Bangkok council and district members.

He commended Mr Sukhumbhand for his deep-rooted experience and understanding of the city problems, and his ability to coordinate with all parties concerned including the government without regarding to political conflicts.

Mr Sukhumbhand has made progress in several aspects including mass transportation, education, public health and landscape development, Mr Abhisit said, assuring that the Democrat Party is ready to contest in the election.

The Pheu Thai Party, which controls the current national government, will tentatively field Deputy National Police chief Pongsapat Pongcharoen in the Bangkok election. The party has yet to make an official announcement.