Feature: Move Forward’s novel campaign style attracts Bangkokians


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

Bangkok – Move Forward candidates running in constituency-based mode for MP of the capital are applying a novel campaign style to literally get closer than usual to prospective voters on the city streets.

The Move Forward constituency-based contestants for the May 14 general election stand on a chair or a stool on the sidewalk of a busy Bangkok street, holding a portable loudspeaker to speak to passers-by, mostly riding in automobiles.

Right behind the vote-wooing candidate is a roadside campaign sign featuring his or her portrait, the name and logo of the party and ostensibly an electoral number which represents an individual contestant and may differ from one constituency to another.

That is unlike an electoral number for contestants vying in party-listed mode which is all the same throughout the country.

Accompanied by a few campaign staffers, the resilient, fast-moving Move Forward candidates may go from place to place throughout their respective constituency to do the same thing from morning till late afternoon.

Their speeches, mostly touching on the party’s campaign platforms, obviously draw the attention of Bangkokian commuters, prompting some to pull over and hand out drinking water and food to the candidates whilst others make sort of an inquiry about their campaign plans, among other daily topics.

An elderly Bangkokian stopped by to tell Move Forward contender Pasarin Ramwong who was speaking on the sidewalk to passing motorists on a Bang Sue street that her novel campaign style has reminded him of a comparable event about half a century earlier in which some old-fashioned candidates vying for MP stood on a wooden box under a scorching sun on Sanam Luang ground to do just the same, albeit without the help of a loudspeaker.

Deputy Move Forward leader Picharn Chaovapatanawong said the novel approach to campaigning on the streets of Bangkok and in public venues such as the perimeters of a shopping mall or a public garden throughout the capital has literally narrowing the gap between the candidates and prospective voters both of whom could get physically close and comfortable to each other and talk on friendly, amenable basis.

He said it suits the traffic conditions of Bangkok and is less costly or troublesome than the otherwise usual delivery of campaign speeches from a gigantic, makeshift stage or from the cargo bay of a slowly-running pickup truck amidst traffic congestion, specifically during rush hours.

Each of the constituency-based candidates anywhere throughout the country is legally allowed to spend a maximum of 1.9 million baht worth of individual campaign finance whilst each of the contesting parties is provided a maximum of 35 million baht in collective campaign expenditure.

Most, if not all, of the Move Forward contestants running in all 33 constituencies of the capital are quickly following suit after a few among them have recently started it up and found it quite successful, according to the deputy party leader.

Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat who is running as sole partisan contender for prime minister said his camp has targeted to get 18 out of a total of 33 Bangkok MPs in the May 14 election, compared to nine who had won under the court-dissolved Future Forward tickets in the 2019 election in which the number of Bangkok MPs totaled 30.


Move Forward constituency-based contestants standing on a chair or a stool along busy Bangkok streets to speak to passers-by. Photos: Matichon

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TNR staff

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