Pro-Prayuth Party Candidate Shot Dead Outside Home

A photo of Prao Babpan posted on his Facebook.

MUKDAHAN — Police said Sunday they’re investigating the apparent murder of a politician slated to run in the upcoming election for a pro-establishment party.

Investigators say they’ve yet to identify a suspect and haven’t ruled out any motive in the killing of New Alternative Party candidate Prao Babpan, according to police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen. Prao, 56, was found shot to death Thursday near his home in Mukdahan.

“The investigating officers have questioned a number of witnesses. Please give the police some time to investigate and bring the perpetrator to justice,” Col. Krissana said at a news conference, adding that the police chief is giving the case his full attention.

Party leader Rachen Trakulviang flew to the northeastern province yesterday to follow up on the case. Rachen, who has voiced support for junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha to serve another term as prime minister, told reporters he believes Prao’s killing could be politically motivated.

“One cannot rule out politics in his death,” Rachen said. “I wonder why the killing isn’t big news. It’s very unusual.”

Krissana said Prao was last seen by his family at home Wednesday night when he went outside to feed his dogs. Prao didn’t return and was later found dead with three gunshot wounds at about 7am the following day, the police spokesman said.