Veteran politician says party has the people and policies to take all 10 seats in key province
CHON BURI: Veteran politician and former Pattaya mayor Sonthaya Kunplome has reaffirmed his confidence that his team would help the Pheu Thai Party achieve a clean sweep in the province in the coming election.
Mr Sonthaya, who led a group of defectors from the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) in early February, on Saturday joined Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew and property tycoon Srettha Thavisin, who were visiting the province to gather public input.
He brushed off potential threats from the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party whose campaign in Chon Buri is led by Suchart Chomklin, another veteran of the province’s political scene, and the Move Forward Party.
In the 2019 polls, in which eight seats were contested, Mr Suchart and other candidates from the PPRP won five while Move Forward won three. This time around there are 10 seats up for grabs.
Mr Srettha on Saturday downplayed questions about whether he would be a party-list candidate, saying he did not want to discuss the matter because it would pressure the party executive board.
He said he would rather focus on fulfilling his role as adviser to Paetongtarn Shinawatra, who has become the face of the party nationwide. Officially the daughter of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is chief adviser on public participation and innovation and head of the “Pheu Thai Family”.
Mr Srettha recently stepped aside as chief executive of the property developer Sansiri and transferred 1.2 billion baht worth of shares to his daughter so that he could campaign full-time for Pheu Thai.
Mr Srettha, who earlier declared he would not accept any post other than prime minister, refused to react to Bhumjathai leader Anutin Charnvirakul’s remarks which suggested he lacked the experience.
He said Pheu Thai is guided by policy, has many high-calibre people and works as a team.
Sarawuth Nuengchamnong, who recently defected from the PPRP to Pheu Thai, said his decision was driven by local people’s demands to see economic problems solved effectively.
He said Pheu Thai’s goal to form a single-party government would ensure unity and allow the government to tackle economic issues better than any multi-party coalition.
Mr Sarawuth predicted Pheu Thai would win six to seven of the 10 seats and UTN three to four seats after the Election Commission officially announces the electoral map. The PPRP might keep one seat, he added.