Coincidence or not, both English language papers have started talking about Bangkok’s gubernatorial election today (I am always ahead of the game. Well, sometimes).
The Nation takes its support of the increasingly rightist Democrats seriously by talking up the achievements of incumbent Apirak ‘rarely seen’ Kosayodhin, as follows:
“As the incumbent, Apirak has lots of advantages. He belongs to the Democrat Party, which has strong support in all Bangkok areas. He has managed his job well enough to reduce traffic jams by improving road infrastructure and extending Skytrain routes. He has initiated bike lanes, which should be extended further. He should be credited for the creative plans to transform Bangkok, to enable it to compete with cities like London, Paris or Tokyo. He has also attracted more people to public transport as a way to save energy and resources.”
These improvements seem in reality to have had precious little to do with Khun Apirak, so far as I know. What are these plans to enable Bangkok to compete with London and Paris? Compete how? People are using public transport because of high petrol prices and because the government introduced free bus rides for people – not sure what his role in that was.
Oh well. How about the other candidates? Khun Prapat Chongsanguan is running for the PPP and formerly ran the MRTA so actually does understand public transport. Dr Kriangsak Charoenwongsak is a former Democrat MP running on programs for young people – perhaps he is the guy I mentioned yesterday – one of the problems I have in not watching television or getting news information from it is that I don’t actually know what most people look like.
There is also Khun Chuwit Kamolvisit – massage parlour baron – for once I am in agreement with the Nation, which also sneers as Khun Chuwit’s insistence on appearing as constantly furious like some kind of pantomime demon king. ‘Personality’ Leena Janjanja is being treated as a bit of a joke; she is the only female candidate – coincidence?
The final candidate is ML Nattakorn Devakul (ML denotes an aristocratic title). I mentioned yesterday that he appears to be the smartest of the candidates in terms of innovative thinking and internationalization, so far as I can tell. His ratings are low, apparently and so he remains an outsider.
The poll is due to take place on October 5th.