Thailand: Sonthaya steps down as Pattaya mayor

  • Sonthaya Khunplome on 24 Mar 22 announced his decision to step down from his position as Pattaya mayor.
  • He said his Rak Pattaya group will next week introduce its candidate to contest the Pattaya poll. Asked whether the candidate was Mr Poramase, he confirmed: “It is Mr Poramase Ngampiches.”
  • Mr Sonthaya is expected to guide the Palang Chon faction, now aligned with the coalition-core Palang Pracharath Party, in its bid to return to power in the next general election.
  • In the last national election in 2019, Palang Chon candidates lost in several constituencies in Chon Buri, the province once seen as the impregnable stronghold of the faction due to the influence of late Somchai Khunplome, better known as Kamnan Poh.
  • Mr Poramase is the vice minister for culture. Mr Sonthaya’s younger brother, Itthipol, is the culture minister.
  • Mr Sonthaya’s decision to quit his post was widely expected after a row between Palang Chon and the faction led by Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin.
  • Mr Poramase said he was ready for the bid to keep Pattaya under the Rak Pattaya umbrella.
  • Rak Pattaya will be challenged by the Pattaya Future and Pattaya Ruamjai teams.

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