Chan wins Pathum Thani presidency by narrow margin

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post official website

Chan Puangpetch, supported by the ruling Pheu Thai Party, secured the presidency of the Pathum Thani Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) yesterday. In a closely contested election, Chan garnered 203,032 votes, edging out Police Lieutenant General Kamronwit Toopkrajang, who received 201,212 votes.

The narrow victory margin of 1,820 votes marks a comeback for Chan, who had previously lost the seat to Kamronwit in 2020. Chan expressed his gratitude last night at his residence in Sam Khok district, thanking the people of Pathum Thani for their support. Chan also acknowledged the significant backing from the Pheu Thai Party and Thaksin Shinawatra.

“I am glad that the people of Pathum Thani supported me, I must thank the Pheu Thai Party and Thaksin Shinawatra for their great support.”

At 62 years old, Chan faced 72 year old Kamronwit, who is a former Bangkok Police Commissioner, as the main competitor in this provincial race. Chan’s political journey includes three terms as Pathum Thani PAO president until his defeat in 2020, when Kamronwit, then supported by Pheu Thai, took over.

Political observers noted the presence of Thaksin and key Pheu Thai figures in Pathum Thani in the lead-up to the PAO election, promoting Chan’s campaign and the party’s agenda. The influence of Thaksin’s political lineage, rooted in the Thai Rak Thai party, has seen a shift in Pathum Thani. In the General Election on May 14, 2023, the Move Forward Party (MFP) claimed most House seats, overtaking Pheu Thai in the province.

Despite the MFP’s victory in the General Election, their path to power was obstructed, resulting in a coalition government led by Pheu Thai and military-aligned parties. Current opinion surveys indicate a growing support for MFP and its leading figures for government leadership and the prime ministerial post, compared to the last election. In contrast, the popularity of Pheu Thai and its prime ministerial candidates has seen a significant decline.

Pol. Lt. Gen. Kamronwit was seen yesterday, June 30, casting his vote in Thanyaburi district, Pathum Thani, embodying the competitive spirit of this tightly fought election, reported Bangkok Post.

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Sarishti Arora

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