11 July 2024

The Palang Pracharat party has approached former Chiang Rai governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn to become its candidate in the gubernatorial election in Bangkok at the end of this year.

Mr. Narongsak, currently governor of Phayao province and due to retire from civil service at the end of September, is well known worldwide for leading of the dramatic rescue of 13 Wild Board footballers and their coach form the flooded Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai district of Chiang Mai last year.

Palang Pracharat MP for Prachuap Khiri Khan, Mr. Udorn Allson, said today that the party was also courting Dr. Supachai Panichpakdi, former secretary-general of UNCTAD and former director of World Trade Organization, adding that the party is still waiting for confirmation from both regarding their offers.

Palang Pracharat has named Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong to head a working committee tasked with selecting candidates to contest nationwide local administration elections, which include Bangkok governor, Pattaya City mayor as well as mayors of provincial administration organizations, tambon administration organizations and municipals.

Palang Pracharat has teamed up with another coalition partner, the Bhumjaithai party, to contest the local administration elections against their arch rival Future Forward party, whose leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has already taken the lead by visiting several provinces to woo voters and recruit candidates.

Mr. Udorn said that Palang Pracharat would field many candidates to contest seats as PAO and TAO administrators. He named one of the candidates as Pol Lt-Gen Kamronwit Toopkrachang, former commissioner of Metropolitan Police Bureau.

Local administration elections this year are expected to be as fiercely fought as the general election due to the active participation of new players and national parties, such as Future Forward, Palang Pracharat and Bhumjaithai. The Democrat and Pheu Thai parties are expected to join the fray as well.

Previously, PAO, TAO and municipal elections were left to local politicians or local “godfather” figures who have historically dominated local politics, but the situation will change this year with the participation of the new, national players.