11 July 2024

Independent Bangkok gubernatorial candidate Chadchart Sittipunt says the collection of fines from law-breaking street vendors by the City Law Enforcement Department, which amounts to about 100 million baht a year, does not benefit people in the capital at all, but increases the hardship for the vendors who are trying to make an honest living.

The former transport minister made this comment while campaigning among vendors at Saphan Kwai and Din Daeng markets today (Thursday).

Even though the fines are legal, with receipts issued, he said that half of the amount is shared as rewards for the tip-offs and the other half goes into the government’s coffers, with nothing left for the benefit of the people.

As such, Chadchart said that the fines reflect social inequality. He suggested a rethink of the practice and, for instance, use the fines as seed money to set up a fund to improve the quality of vendors in markets.

He also raised the problem of homeless people, noting that their numbers in Bangkok have increased due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. These people, he said, don’t have mental problems, but have lost their jobs and incomes but are often looked down upon.

Chadchart, who is leading in recent polls, dismissed reports of his connection with the Pheu Thai party, saying that he left the party over two years ago and that no one from the party has helped in his election campaigning.

Meanwhile, another key candidate from the Democrat Party, Suchatvee Suwansawat, visited the City Hall 2 in Din Daeng area today, to woo city officials and executives.

He told them that he hopes he will have a chance to work with them in the future and promised that he will look into their welfare if he is elected.

He spent about two hours greeting officials from different departments and offices and offered them moral support.

Bangkok gubernatorial and councillor elections, the first such elections in nine and 12 years respectively, are on Sunday May 22nd.