By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A CHIEF DISTRICT OFFICER of Lampang has been accused of failing to remain politically neutral toward an approaching by-election for an MP of the northern province.
A written complaint was yesterday (June 15) submitted by an undisclosed group of villagers to police in Serm Ngarm district alleging the chief district officer in question, namely Naretvarit Ubonsri, of managing to canvass for the candidate of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, namely Wattana Sitthiwang, running for MP in Saturday’s by-election in Constituency 4 of Lampang.
The police are yet to launch investigation into allegations that the chief district officer had unduly instructed all local leaders to help the Palang Pracharath candidate in tacit, hidden fashion.
All government personnel including local leaders are obliged by law to remain politically impartial before and during electoral contests in their jurisdiction.
Five persons have applied as candidates for MP to represent five districts of the northern province at parliament, including Thern, Koh Kha, Sop Prap, Mae Phrik and Serm Ngarm.
However, only two of them were viewed as hot candidates vying against each other – Somboon Klaphachon of the opposition Thai Liberal Party and Wattana of the ruling party.
Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thammanat Prompao has joined in the Palang Pracharath electoral campaign and visited marketplaces, communities and villages to help Wattana woo votes from among constituents.
So has Thai Liberal Party leader Seriphisut Temiyavej been on a campaign trail to help muster support from among constituents for Somboon.
In last year’s general election, all four constituencies of Lampang voted for MP each. All successful candidates ran under the tickets of the opposition Pheu Thai Party, including the deceased Itthirat Chantharasurin whom Saturday’s winning contestant is replacing.
Top: Horse carts in Lampang. Photo: Paul Arps (CC BY 2.0)