Pheu Thai Party candidate Pichai Lertpongadisorn beat incumbent and old friend Boonlert Buranupakorn for the presidency of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization.
Pichai won 421,426 votes to Boonlert’s 353,010. His party won half the 42 provincial council seats, with the Chiang Mai Morality Group taking the other half.
Pheu Thai won nine provinces in Sunday’s elections including Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Phrae, Lampang, Nan, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon and Mukdahan.
But Chiang Mai was the most closely watched contest, as it pitted two “red shirt” aligned forces against each other with the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship backing Boonlert as fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Pheu Thai dumping the governor for Pichai.
Red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan attacked the party for the move as Thaksin personally vouched for Pichai, aligning Pheu Thai more closely with the political lighting rod than it has been in years.