11 July 2024

The by-election in Bangkok’s Constituency 9 this Sunday is likely to be a close contest between three of the eight candidates vying for the vacant parliamentary seat.

The frontrunners are expected to be Saranrat Jenjaka, of the ruling Palang Pracharat party, Surachart Thienthong of the opposition Pheu Thai party and Atavit Suwannapakdee of the Kla party.

The seat in Constituency 9 was left vacant after the Constitutional Court disqualified Sira Jenjaka in December, because he had been convicted of fraud in a criminal case.

Surachart ran in the 2019 on the Pheu Thai ticket, garnering 32,115 votes. Sira won with 34,907 votes.

On the Democrat party ticket, Atavit won the election in 2011 in Constituency 9. This time, however, he is running under the Kla party banner, led by Korn Chatikavanij who quit the Democrat party to form his own.

A newcomer, Saranrat, is married to Sira and is hoping that his supporters will also vote for her this Sunday.

The candidate from the opposition Move Forward party, political newcomer and actor Karoonpon “Petch” Tieansuwan, should not be underestimated and could emerge as a dark horse, thanks to the party’s campaigning on the social media. The party hopes that the new generation of voters, who reject mainstream politics, may cast their ballots for Karoonpon.

Constituency 9 covers both Laksi and Chatuchak districts.

Election laws mean that campaigning must cease at 6pm on Saturday.