Local media reported this week that Pheu Thai would be running Sudarat Keyuraphan as a candidate for Bangkok’s gubernatorial elections signalling a possible change in leadership for the party.
Sudarat has been one of the most recognizable faces of Pheu Thai since former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was removed from office by the Constitutional Court and the Pheu Thai government was overthrown by the subsequent 2014 military coup.
Alongside former Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt, Sudarat led the party into the 2019 elections where for the first time in two decades, a Thaksin Shinawatra-backed party did not win the most number of seats.
Rumours around her gubernatorial candidacy have circulated for weeks with local media reporting on Thursday that Sudarat would contest the election.
Pheu Thai party secretary Anudith Nakornthap however has walked back the rumour saying that the matter was not yet settled and there could be another candidate.
If the party does run Sudarat, it would signal a shift in the party’s leadership structure and pave the way for new leaders to step into the Pheu Thai fold, something political analysts have long said was necessary after the party’s less than stellar showing in the 2019 elections.
Sudarat’s path to the Bangkok governorship would also run through former party co-leader Chadchart who is running as an independent candidate.