Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Democrat party's Apirak Kosayodhin won

The Democrat party's Apirak Kosayodhin won a sweeping victory in yesterday’s Bangkok governor election, polling more than 991,000 votes and bettering his result of four years ago.

He won nearly twice as many votes as his rival Prapas Chongsa-nguan of the People Power party.

Mr Apirak was seeking a second term and was re-elected for another four years. Four years ago, he won the race with 911,441 votes.

Unofficial voting results late last night showed Mr Apirak gained 991,081 votes, representing 45.93 per cent of voters who went to the polls, followed by Mr Prapas with 543,488 (25.19 per cent), Chuwit Kamolvisit with 340,616 (15.79 per cent), Kriengsak Charoenwongsak with 260,051 (12.05 per cent), and Leena Jangjanja on 6,267 (0.29 per cent).

Turnout for the election was 54.18 per cent or 2,214,320 votes out of 4,087,329 eligible voters, according to the Election Commission. The EC earlier expected turnout to be about 70 per cent. In the previous election four years ago, turnout was 62.5 per cent.

Mr Apirak is the second governor after former Bangkok governor Chamlong Srimuang to be elected for a second consecutive term.

Mr Apirak yesterday claimed success as governor in pushing for the 2.2km extension of the skytrain to be built across the Chao Phraya river with City Hall money.

He said his victory resulted from his work in the social and environmental area.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva called on the government to work closely with Mr Apirak despite the Democrats being an opposition party. "I hope the government would be broad-minded," said Mr Abhisit, adding that Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat had promised to give financial support to the Bangkok governor no matter what party he came from.

According to surveys by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, voters hope he will carry on with many projects he has introduced in the past four years as Bangkok governor.

They also want the next governor to solve Bangkok problems including traffic congestion.

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