Wannasingh Prasertkul

28, TV host, musician and writer

“I haven’t reached a final decision as we’re not into the election season yet. Some policies from other candidates have not yet been revealed. I’m interested in Suharit Siamwala joining the election. Normally, only people who work in serious professions jump to the election, but he’s totally from another side. I think that if there’s no other candidate that is more interesting, I will go for Suharit. But my experience working with the governor’s team is that the position itself is not all about making changes. It’s more like serving Bangkokians. I think the governor can’t effect significant changes because we’re just one city. Don’t forget there are another 76 provinces in Thailand.”

Winyu Wongsurawat

27, executive director of www.SpokeDark.tv 

“This time around it’s quite hard to decide, I admit. Most of Bangkok survived the flood in 2011 under Sukhumbhand Paribatra, but, on the other hand, the futsal stadium thing was very embarrassing. In general, progress seems to be slow. If Sukhumbhand gets another term, will we see things move along faster? I like the way Suharit is trying to educate and inform people about the governor’s duties and the city’s budget. Usually we don’t hear candidates talking about this. Some of his ideas I find quite unrealistic, though. We’ll have to see how far he can take them. And then there are other candidates who haven’t announced their campaign officially yet, so maybe it’s not the time to decide. Let’s hear the candidates talk more concretely about improving  Bangkok’s schools, taking more interest in public health, managing traffic more efficiently, and reducing pollution.”

Pongprom Yamarat

39, Big Trees Project founder, architect at Be Our Friend Studio

“I’m not sure who to vote for but I’ll definitely go to vote. Voting for a governor is important. Consider if Bangkok wants to become a mega city, like London, Singapore, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, New York, they are all like a country in a country. We need a governor that has global vision with local insights, moving towards the future with sustainability in mind. What we don’t have is the right person, someone who can see the potential of the city, with the appetite to push it forward with world-class education, sustainable development, better IT, green living and happiness. Bangkok is among the least green cities in the world with only three square meters per person.”

Leena Jungjunja

53, business owner, candidate for Bangkok governor in 2008

“I’m not going to vote for anyone; there isn’t one candidate that I feel deserves my vote. I’m not sleeping on my right to vote, I’m just choosing not to vote since there isn’t any good and honest candidate. The governor is supposed to fix problems, help with the cleanliness of the city, help prevent disasters like flooding, but in my opinion all these candidates are either dishonest or corrupt. Look at the problems we had years ago, the dirtiness of some of the canals… Despite what people say about cleaning up the city, our canals still stink. If there are only cheaters and false promises, nothing is going to change and get better in the long run, so why should I vote for any of them?”

Vip Buraphadeja

39, Editor of Happening magazine    

“I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I feel more interested in candidates that are not backed by political parties. I think some of the major problems in Bangkok stem from these political parties being too divided, like when the flood happened, stirring up squabbling between the government and the BMA. I think a governor who isn’t supported by political parties would help keep our city together, but, of course, that person has to be bold and brave enough to make tough decisions, which would be easier for a governor who doesn’t have to worry too much about politics.”

Natee Aekwijitr (Oui Buddha Bless)

33, singer  

“I haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for yet, but I definitely think voting for a new governor is really important. Personally, to get my vote, that person has to be honest above everything else. Honesty comes first. Even though you can’t tell if they’re really honest, (you can tell a lot about someone through their background and policies). Second would be the ability to develop something new for the good of the country.”

Van Rohitratana

29, chef at Escapade on Phra Athit

“I’m voting for Suharit. I love his style and the way he thinks. Long ago, I had a chance to learn that in his office there’s a sign saying something like “in this world there are more boxes for you to tear open,” which is true. I love the fact that he has got two personas: one as a DJ with so much energy, another as a man devoted to his work and a loving father. I believe that he’s a family man, kind and a really nice guy. He’s like an ordinary guy who cares about our country, and is definitely against corruption. He dares to do things and make things happen, as you can see from his work as a DJ. People thought that he was joking when he said he was going to run for governor, but obviously he’s really doing it. He won’t spend millions making banners so people vote for him, he’s just a simple guy. I believe his policies and ideas will help make our lives better; he’ll implement things that will blow us away.

Kanya Leenutapong

23, actress/post-graduate student

“I don’t know who I’m voting for yet, but I do know Bangkok is suffering from increased cars, more traffic and countless other problems. The governor must be a leader and an asset to the city. But to get my vote, they’ll need to demonstrate clichéd yet important qualities like being knowledgeable, honest, to stand up against corruption and be willing to work to achieve solutions rather than be all talk. I want someone who can find new approaches to solving problems and who uses the budget efficiently.”

Vasu Virajsilp

40, architect at VaSLab

“I still don’t know who I’m going to vote for, but I definitely think it’s important to vote, and as a Thai citizen, I will use my right to vote for sure. I would love to have a governor who envisions art as an important part for the city. To me, art beautifies people’s hearts to have better values and to be less materialistic. I would also like a governor who truly supports projects to enhance the sustainability of our urban environment. For example, a park acts as a node for bringing together the community, creating a healthy lifestyle and social or cultural activities.”

Rungroj Thainiyom

24, Paralympics gold medalist in table tennis

“I’m voting for M.R. Sukumbhand because I’ve seen how he is as Bangkok’s governor and I think he’s capable of bringing change to the capital. If he’s re-elected, I feel that he’ll be able to do things that allow Bangkok to move forward and help fix its problems.” 

Bangkok’s Candidates for the 2013 Governor Election


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