CNA – Independent candidate Chadchart Sittipunt was elected Bangkok governor on Sunday in the first gubernatorial election held in the city since 2013, according to unofficial results.
He won 1,386,215 votes from 2,673,696 voters who cast their ballots, or 51.8 per cent, according to data from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
The candidate was followed by Suchatvee Suwansawat from the Democrat Party with 254,647 votes and Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn from the Move Forward Party with 253,851.
There were 4.4 million eligible voters in the gubernatorial election on Sunday with voter turnout at 60.73 per cent.
“If I have a chance to become Bangkok governor, if the Election Commission officially announces it, I’m ready to be governor for everyone,” Chadchart said in a speech outside his campaign office in Bangkok on Sunday night.
Crowds of supporters erupted in cheers. Many had gathered to observe the vote count.
“We must step over divisions. Eventually, I think we have to be united as one and walk together.”
The 55-year-old politician is a former transport minister, engineer and university professor, who spent the past two years preparing for the upcoming race.
Prior to the election, Chadchart was a member of Thailand’s biggest opposition party Pheu Thai. He left the group in 2019 to focus on his race to win Bangkok’s top office.
During his campaign, Chadchart was supported by a network of more than 10,000 volunteers, academics and experts from 50 districts around Bangkok. They have contributed to more than 200 policy proposals.
Bangkok last held its governor election on March 3, 2013. However, a military coup took place the following year and the junta, led by current Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, appointed a non-elected governor.
The governor’s term is four years. Upon completing his period, Chadchart can run again for a second term in office.