Democrat candidate endorsed as Bangkok’s governor


BANGKOK, March 27 – Thailand’s national Election Commission (EC) today endorsed Sukhumbhand Paribatra as Bangkok’s new governor, despite continuing investigations of complaints against him and other candidates.

The five-member EC voted four to one to allow the Democrat candidate to return to his previous Bangkok Metropolitan Administration office, while a group of 50 Red Shirt activists protested in front of the EC headquarters.

The demonstrators said it was not correct for the EC to endorse results of the Bangkok gubernatorial election when investigations into allegations against Mr Sukhumbhand were not finished.

The EC is empowered to verify the election despite the ongoing probe of allegations against the candidates.

Mr Sukhumbhand won the March 3 city election, edging out his closest rival, former deputy national police chief Pongsapat Pongcharoen who ran under the ruling PheuThai banner.

After submitting a letter of protest to the EC, the Red Shirt demonstrators poured red syrup, representing blood, on the portraits of the four EC members who voted to endorse Mr Sukhumbhand.

Two unsuccessful candidates, Varanchai Chokechana and Sukhum Wongprasit, submitted separate letters of protest to the EC, showing their disagreement with the endorsement