By-election campaigning underway in Khon Kaen’s Constituency 7
Palang Pracharat and the opposition Pheu Thai parties held their latest election campaign rallies in Constituency 7 of Thailand’s north-eastern province of Khon Kaen today (Saturday) to woo their supporters ahead of the vote on Sunday.
This by-election is expected to be a tight race between Pheu Thai’s Mr. Thanik Maseepitak and Mr. Somsak Khun-ngern of the Government’s core Palang Pracharat party.
Pheu Thai party leader Sompong and Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, the party’s chief strategist, held a campaign rally at the Agriculture and Technology College in Manja Khiri district, where a crowd of several thousand showed up.
Election Commission (EC) chairman Itthiporn Boonprakong joined Khon Kaen provincial governor Somsak Jungtrakul, the provincial police commander, Pol Maj-Gen Puttipong Musikul at the launch of a campaign to encourage voters to go to the polls on Sunday. About 2,000 students and members of the public in Nong Rua district attended.
There are 132,569 eligible voters in Constituency 7, which covers Nong Rua and Manja Khiri districts. The EC chairman has predicted a 71% voter turnout.
Pheu Thai leader Sompong said that this by-election is crucial and the party wants to win to replace the loss of 4 opposition seats in the House of Representatives, following the Future Forward party’s recent expulsion of four rebel MPs.
He added that the opposition will also try to win two other by-elections, in Samut Prakan and Kamphaeng Phet provinces, to regain its strength in the House, and that he is confident that the party’s man will defeat the Palang Pracharat candidate.
Khunying Sudarat, meanwhile, said she has received many complaints of electoral irregularities from residents of the two districts and is urging the EC to make sure that local officials remain neutral.