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Bangkok votes for manager inside 1st election since 2014 coup

Bangkok votes for manager inside 1st election since 2014 coup

BANGKOK (AP) — Voters inside the Thai first city headed to the polls Sunday to ballot a new manager inside a competition delayed by a military coup that still reflects a divided country accompanied by main candidates either supported by the conservative setting up or the tolerant opposition.

A record 31 candidates entered the race, nevertheless the battle actuality watched most closely is in the centre of set of two who registered while independents.

One is former Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt, a front-runner, with every one other accompanied by the other Asawin Kwanmuang, who served while the military-appointed manager since 2016. He stepped down inside March to competition the election.

The candidates campaigned on issues including congestion, pollution with every one other accompanied by persistent flooding. There are 4.4 million registered voters inside the city, the country's biggest. Apart from governor, they're too electing city council members. Bangkok's last gubernatorial election was inside 2013, a year earlier to the military toppled a democratically elected government.

Neither the main opposition communal gathering inside Parliament, Pheu Thai, nor the ruling Palang Pracharath party, associated accompanied by the military with every one other accompanied by the ruling conservative establishment, officially have candidates on the ballot.

However, 55-year-old Chadchart is seen by both supporters with every one other accompanied by opponents while a proxy for Pheu Thai, for which he stood while a main ministerial candidate inside the 2019 general election. He served while transport minister inside a Pheu Thai management inside 2012-2014.

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His main competitor is 71-year-old Asawin, who was appointed manager inside 2016 by Prayuth Chan-ocha. As armed force commander, Prayuth seized ability inside the 2014 coup to lead a military regime, with every one other accompanied by he dismissed the foregoing manager over corruption allegations. Prayuth was returned to office following the 2019 election while main minister inside a coalition government.

Prayuth, inside ability for eight years, is expected in a short time to face a no-confidence movement inside Parliament, with every one other accompanied by rivals on his own side have lengthy been rumored to exist seeking to remove him. Even if he survives, there must exist a general election by early following year.

Prayuth was intelligent to regulation by decree while head of a military management nevertheless has struggled within the limits of parliamentary democracy, taking blaze mainly for fumbling Thailand's coronavirus vaccination program with every one other accompanied by recuperation plan.

Other candidates include Suchatvee Suwansawat of the Democrat Party. He's seen while having an external outside chance if conservative voters support him while an alternative of Asawin. The Democrats have historically been a ability inside Bangkok nevertheless have fractured poorly inside the past set of two decades of polarized government that have seen road violence with every one other accompanied by set of two coups.

A fourth candidate whose results will exist carefully watched is Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn from the progressive opposition Move Forward Party, which takes a additional critical stance than Pheu Thai in the direction of the government.

Political science professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University noted this was the earliest significant election since the 2014 coup.

"People are ravenous to have a say," he said inside an email to The Associated Press. "The result, if it clearly goes opposed to ruling Palang Pracharat, would exist consequential for Parliament, Prayuth with every one other accompanied by no-confidence."

Bangkok is administratively a province while well while a city, with every one other accompanied by the only one where residents tin choose their own governor, who is appointed somewhere else by the country's Interior Ministry.

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