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Man Drowns in Election Stunt

By Tse Hao Guang     Sep 30, 2008 in Politics
Trying to up the ante in the race to be Bangkok's governor, Ms Leena Jangjanya and her team pull off a stunt which leads to the death of her campaign manager.
BANGKOK – What started out as a clever political stunt turned into tragedy on Sep 25 2008 when a campaign manager drowned in the polluted Samwa Canal in the Klong Sama district.
For governor candidate Leena Jangjanya and her unfortunate manager Thirasak Sitanont, bathing in the filthy waters was a powerful way to highlight the problems faced by residents without access to clean water.
Ms Leena was showing journalists the rashes she had got from her dip in the canal when the drowning occurred.
“One of my staff saw him waving and crying for help, but we thought he was pretending and he was far away from us, posing for two TV crews,” said a distraught Ms Leena.
Minutes later, Mr Thirasak disappeared. Rescue workers found his body an hour later.
Ms Leena's campaign for the governorship of Bangkok has been suspended in view of Mr. Thirasak's funeral arrangements. He leaves behind a wife, seven months pregnant, who Ms Leena has promised to look after.
“If I were to continue to campaign after his death, I would be no better than an animal,” she said.
Bangkok's 20 odd canals or klongs are heavily polluted by direct sewage discharge and indiscriminate dumping of rubbish into their waters.
The gubernatorial election will be held on October 5, with incumbent Apirak Kosayodhim of the Democrat Party in the lead.
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