CHIANGRAI TIMES – The election for the Chiang Rai provincial administration organisation chair kicked off yesterday, with two women signing up to run on the first day of candidate registration.
Former PAO chairperson Rattana Jongsutthamanee, running as an independent candidate, is seeking re-election on May 27 against Salakjit Tiyapairath, who represents the Pheu Thai Party.
Both candidates hail from the families of veteran Chiang Rai politicians.
Ms Rattana is married to Wanchai, the younger brother of seasoned politician Mongkhon Jongsutthamanee.
Ms Salakjit is wife of former Thai Rak Thai MP Yongyuth Tiyapairat, whose five-year political ban ends next month.
The first day of candidacy registration proceeded smoothly at the provincial stadium, watched over by Chiang Rai governor Thanin Supasaen.
Ms Rattana stepped down from the post of PAO chair last Tuesday, about a week before her term ended.
She insisted that her resignation would not affect the PAO’s work. Her husband Wanchai will contest the Chiang Rai mayor post on May 5.
She is not daunted by her opponent’s strong Pheu Thai support, vowing to continue her current policies which she claims have proved a success.
“I have done my best and it’s up to the people to decide,” she said.
Ms Salakjit said as a Pheu Thai representative she would work with the national government in integrating policy with local development.
She said her focus is developing infrastructure and fairly distributing budgets.
If elected, she said she would cut the budget for the province’s annual flower fair and use the money saved to promote tourism in other areas.
“There are other places which can be developed and deserve to be,” she said.
Ms Salakjit was accompanied to the candidacy registration by Pheu Thai MPs in the province including La-ong Tiyapairath, Surasit Jiamwichak, and Phichet Chua-muangpan.
Several more candidates are expected to sign up, including Sarit Ungapinant, assistant to the commerce minister, before registration closes on Thursday.