Chadchart set to win Bangkok gubernatorial election in landslide
With just over a million votes counted since the Bangkok local election polls closed at 5pm Sunday, Chadchart Sittipunt, an independent candidate, is looking likely to win the gubernatorial election by a landslide.
Chadchart has maintained a significant lead throughout the evening, garnering more than 50% of the ballots counted.
“I’m ready to be everyone’s governor. Whether you voted for me or not, I will serve all of you equally. I wish us to go forward together. We may have different points of view, but please don’t dislike or get mad with each other,” said Chadchart at the press conference 8:40pm.
Although the Election Commission has not yet announced the official results, Chadchart told his supporters that fellow candidates, Suchatvee Suwansawat and Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, have congratulated him over the phone. Chadchart added that he is willing to work with Bangkok Councillors from both the Democrat and Move Forward parties.
“If I have the chance to become the Governor of Bangkok, I have to serve everyone equally, because I am representing Bangkok.”
Chadchart also took this opportunity to thank all gubernatorial candidates for being on this journey together, adding that it is a fair and transparent election.
He also looks forward to the Election Commission announcing the official results, to confirm that an independent candidate can run for public office, adding that the new generation will make Bangkok a better place and will contribute to positive changes in the capital. Chadchart also said that the next four years will be a hopeful time, during which people will make positive changes together.
Following by a big gap in the polls, Suchatvee Suwansawat, a Democrat party candidate, conceded defeat and thanked everyone for voting for him. He also mentioned that he called Chadchart to congratulate him, adding that he is willing to help if he can.
Suchatvee said, however, that he wants the new Bangkok Governor to fix the flooding issue, for which he emphasised that there should be new ways of thinking to solve the problem. Suchatvee also suggested that Chadchart consider the free-Wi-Fi policy, as it will become a “turning point” for the capital.
The Democrat candidate also told reporters that he is proud to have competed for the first time in the gubernatorial electionand for receiving such support over the past five months. As for his future plans, he said that he will be going home to hug his parents and will be taking his son to school tomorrow morning. He also confirmed that he will still be working as a member of the Democrat party.
Former Bangkok governor, Aswin Kwanmuang, who is also ran as an independent candidate, conceded at about 7:30pm. “I let the people decide. There is no way for all 30 to win, there is only one winner”. Aswin also said he has no plan to contest other elections yet.
Chadchart led in almost every opinion poll prior to the election, but not by a landslide. Now, he is apparently not only going to win the election, he might also be able to break the record of 1.25 million votes set by Sukhumbhand Paribatra nine years ago.
Chadchart, 55, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in civil engineering from Chulalongkorn University. He received an MA in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Wutisan Tanchai, of the King Prajadhipok Institute, said that the way voters chose their governor today did not necessarily reflect their political affiliation, but rather their pragmatism in their preference for workable policies, working experience and determination of the candidates.
Chadchart has proposed 214 policies or projects which hesummed up as “good issues”, namely a good environment, good public safety, a good economy, a good health service, good and convenient travel, good creation of space and business opportunities for new generations, good education,good management and good structure for Bangkok, such as good town planning.