6 June 2024

Most party leaders and their constituency candidates for Bangkok gathered at the Bangkok Youth Centre this morning to register for the May 14th general election and to draw election numbers for their parties and candidates.

Supporters also showed up to offer moral support, generating a concert-like atmosphere. Democrat Party campaign chief for Bangkok, Watanya Bunnag, arrived at the registration venue on an electric scooter, followed by a small convoy of electric tuk-tuks and an electric bus.

Several campaign trucks were parked outside the youth centre, waiting for the results of the drawing of election numbers, after which they will be added to banners before they roam the city to campaign.

An election commissioner has, however, asked all parties and their candidates not to leave the registration venue in Din Daeng in a convoy, as this could constitute a violation of the election law for organising a “carnival-like” activity.

Prayut Chan-o-cha was seen seated next to Prawit Wongsuwan, leader of the Palang Pracharath Party, as they led their Bangkok constituency candidates to register and to witness the drawing of the election numbers.

Prayut Chan-o-cha and Prawit Wongsuwan

Most are hopeful that they will get single-digit numbers, because these numbers are easily remembered by the voters when they cast their ballots on election day and are regarded as auspicious, especially the number 1.

Prayut attempted to explained to the media why he is not listed as a party-list candidate for the United Thai Nation Party, saying “We have to consider whether it is necessary or not and my duties are not confined to just political responsibilities.  I have other responsibilities too,” he said.

Asked about General Prawit, he said that, since they are in different parties, they will have to battle it out politically, adding that he cannot predict the future after the election.

Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat told the media that he prefers the number 9 as an election number, so that the party will campaign in a progressive and forward looking way.

Pita Limjaroenrat, Move Forward party leader.

Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Pheu Thai party’s advisory chief, admitted that election numbers are important when campaigning, because they are a tool with which to communicate with the voters, adding that there are two ballots of different numbers, one for the parties and the other for candidates.

She said that she has no auspicious numbers in mind, adding “Any numbers are fine because the party will do its job all the same.”

In other provinces, key party members led their constituency candidates to register at community halls and public venues arranged by provincial election commissioners.

As is the customary practice, most parties will conduct religious rites to seek divine blessings for their parties and candidates, and in the hope of getting single-digit election numbers.

Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Pheu Thai party’s advisory chief.