11 July 2024

Pheu Thai candidate Charn Puangpetch has won yesterday’s Pathum Thani Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) mayoral election, beating the runner-up, Pol Lt-Gen Kamronwit Thoopkrajang, by 1,969 votes.

Charn garnered a total of 203,010 votes cast in Lam Luk Ka (36,369), Khlong Luang (50,068), Thanyaburi (29,762), Mueang (36,137), Lat Lum Kaeo (18,940), Sam Khok (20,392) and Nong Suea (11,332) districts.

Former Pathum Thani PAO mayor, Kamronwit, received 201,041 votes in Lam Luk Ka (51,011), Khlong Luang (43,152), Thanyaburi (39,652), Mueang (35,110), Lat Lum Kaeo (13,089), Sam Khok (5,918) and Nong Suea (13,100).

Today, Charn thanked paroled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the Pheu Thai party for supporting his candidacy.

Prasert Jantararuangtong, Minister of Digital Economy and Society and a core member of the Pheu Thai party, said that Charn’s victory has disproved the widespread claims of the declining popularity of the party.

Nuttakorn Vititanon, a political science lecturer at Chiang Mau University, attributed the defeat of Kamronwit to two factors. Firstly, the low voter turnout.

Of about 900,000 eligible voters in the province, he said only about 400,000 voters turned, about 10 percent less than the last election when Kamronwit won. He said many who didn’t vote could be Kamronwit supporters.

Secondly, he said the election was highly competitive among the four candidates, one of whom, Noppadol Laddayam, used to be in Kamronwit’s camp. He garnered about 12,000 votes, many of which should have gone to the retired general if Noppadol had not stood.

The lecturer also said that Kamronwit’s loss should serve as a warning to other PAO mayors, who might want to call snap elections before the expiry of their terms to make sure that their political base is solid, otherwise they might end up being defeated.

Read more : Pathum Thani local election : A litmus test of Thaksin’s residual power (June 29, 2024)

File photo : Pheu Thai candidate Charn Puangpetch (L) and Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra