11 July 2024

Current and unelected Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang hinted today (Thursday) that he may quit his post to contest the Bangkok gubernatorial election, set for May 22nd, as an independent candidate.

A rumour is making the rounds at City Hall that the incumbent governor, appointed by the military junta’s National Council for Peace and Order, may make an important announcement at a press conference scheduled for March 24th or 25th.

Reporters asked him today (Thursday) whether he will announce his resignation to join the race, but Aswin did not respond to the question directly.

He did say that he will answer all the questions raised by reporters on the day of the press conference.

He has instructed his advisor, who is also spokesman for the city administration, to arrange a press conference.

According to the city’s permanent secretary, if Aswin wants to contest the Bangkok gubernatorial election, he must have tendered his resignation at least three days before the formal announcement of the election date by the Election Commission.

The Election Commission has already set May 22nd for Bangkok governor and councillor elections in 50 districts of Bangkok, as well as the elections of Pattaya City major and 24 councillors in four constituencies but is yet to make the formal announcement. The date is coincidentally the eighth anniversary of the May 2014 coup.

The local elections in May will be the first in nine years. The last elected governor, M.R Sukhumbhand Paribatra of the Democrat Party, was removed from the post by the then military junta and replaced by Aswin Kwanmuang.

Several candidates have announced their readiness to contest the Bangkok gubernatorial election, which promises fierce competition.

Among the known candidates are:
• Former Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt, Independent
• Dr. Suchatvee Suwansawat, former rector of King Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Democrat Party
• Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, Move Forward Party
• Former Senator Rosana Tositrakul, Independent
• Former Deputy Bangkok Governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul, Independent