Registration for Bangkok governor’s election set for Jan 21-25

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BANGKOK, Jan 10 -The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has set January 21-25 for candidates to register for the gubernatorial election scheduled for early March.

BMA City Clerk Ninnart Chalitanont in her capacity as interim governor called a meeting of 50 district chiefs to brief them about the upcoming election. As the leading civil servants in the capital, they have been instructed to be impartial and adhere to the election law.

Although many district chiefs were newly appointed, Ms Ninnart said she is not worried as most have experienced governorship elections while serving as assistant district chiefs or in other civil service positions.

The BMA and the city election commission initially agreed to set candidacy registration for January 21-25, according to the city clerk.

She said the election is scheduled for March 3. The official announcement will be made on Friday after approval by the city’s election commission.

The resignation of former Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra of the Democrat Party officially took effect yesterday – one day before the expiration of his four-year term. The election commission is obliged to conduct the city election within 60 days.

The Pheu Thai Party earlier said it will announce it’s candidate this weekend, amid speculation that Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen, a deputy national police chief who also serves as secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board, will be chosen to run for governor.

From today, Ms Ninnart said, potential candidates can also submit their personal documents at City Hall for verification of their qualifications.

The city clerk also warned all candidates to beware of violating election law on registration day. She cited concerns about entertainment activities which might be held on that day by the candidates’ supporters, which are considered to be illegal.

Ms Ninnart said each candidate is allowed to have a maximum of 500 election campaigners and their names must be submitted to the city’s election commission five days prior to the campaign.

Ms Ninnart added that about four million Bangkokians are eligible to vote this time in 6,548 polling stations across the capital.