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Bangkok sees tight poll race between ruling party, democrats

A red Furby, an electronic robotic toy, sits at the table in place of Pheu Thai candidate Pol General Pongsapat Pongcharoen, Bangkok governor election candidate No 9, after he failed to show up at a debate organised by Sri Patum University on February 21. Photo by The Nation

Publication Date : 22-02-2013


The Pheu Thai Party's Pongsapat Pongcharoen and Democrat Sukhumbhand Paribatra are neck-and-neck in the Bangkok gubernatorial race, as per the latest results released by Ban Somdej poll yesterday.

The margin between Pongsapat and Sukhum-bhand's job-approval ratings is less than 1 per cent two weeks ahead of the March 3 election. Pongsapat scored 29.5 per cent and Sukhumbhand won 29.1 per cent. Meanwhile, independent candidate Pol General Sereepisuth Temeeyaves came in third with 8.8 per cent, while 19 per cent of the voters said they were undecided.

The poll was conducted on 1,157 eligible voters from February 18-20. Asked what the most important factor for a vote would be, 40 per cent said policies and 36 per cent said the candidate's party. Up to 81 per cent said they would vote on March 3, 15 per cent were not sure if they would bother, while 3.5 per cent would not vote.

Academic held

A 45-year-old academic was arrested yesterday for posting anti-Thaksin Shinawatra messages on an election campaign board of the Pheu Thai Party's Pongsapat Pongcharoen.

Hathaiwut Saithong, an academic under the jurisdiction of Bangkok's Educational Office 5, was charged with violating Article 57 of the Local Election Act, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a 100,000 baht (US$3,300) fine.

Police said they saw Hathaiwut posting a sticker reading, "We do not want a governor who only pays lip-service", on a campaign board on Lat Phrao 45 in Bangkok's Huay Kwang district. Police said he was caught carrying 50 other stickers that read: "We do not choose a governor who burned down the nation". Police said Hathaiwut's bag also had images of Thaksin carrying the message that he should be jailed.


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