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Announcement by Thai PM casts doubt on poll date

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PHOTO: His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn

“Today, the NCPO gives importance to the preparation of the coronation. Every Thai must not forget. This is important.” – PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha

The Thai PM yesterday broke with tradition by mixing politics with the forthcoming coronation saying the government would need to prepare for the important royal ceremony before calling the long-awaited election.

While the election date has been pushed forward a number of times over the years, next February had firmed in the past 12 months as the most likely date. But the date for His Majesty’s coronation has not been announced.

The Nation reports that Prayut’s surprising remarks came amid growing pressure on the ruling NCPO to call an election after several delays caused by legislative complications. After yesterday’s Cabinet meeting Prayut brought up the coronation out of the blue.

“Everyone must not forget about the most important thing. Today, the NCPO gives importance to the preparation of the coronation. Every Thai must not forget. This is important,” he said.

“Don’t say I’m making an excuse. For this, I need the country to be peaceful and stable. It also impacts investments, too. The election will also go on according to democracy. I don’t think these go in contrast.”

His unprompted comments led reporters to ask if the election would be held before or after the coronation. He responded that the election would definitely take place after the coronation.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne on December 2016, but the date of his coronation has not yet been announced.

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam says that the determination of the coronation day depended solely on royal judgement.

“I cannot talk about this [the coronation] since the Cabinet did not discuss the matter [yesterday]. I heard the prime minister talked about it. He might know, but I don’t know,” Wissanu told reporters.

The election has been anticipated since soon after the coup took place in 2014. Prayut initially said the election would take place the following year but the schedule has shifted thanks to a lengthy process of legislation and the re-working of the Constitution.

Human rights defenders and activists urged British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron – who Prayut is scheduled to meet today and next Monday respectively – to pressure the PM for a rapid transition to a civilian government.

The road map to democracy, according to the Constitution, says that the election must take place 150 days after the organic laws crucial for the vote come into effect. However, the bills have suffered several legislative hiccups such as committee revisions and a constitutional review. Consequently, the election has been delayed indefinitely.

The powers-that-be have reiterated that voting would be held in February next year. But critics have questioned that promise, given the current situation in which a ban on politics remains strictly in place and the organic bills on the Senate and MPs election are still pending royal endorsement.

The junta indicated it was preparing for the election as Prayut assigned his deputy Prawit Wongsuwan to call a meeting with political parties to clear the way for the poll. Wissanu said the meeting would take place soon.

Announcement by Thai PM casts doubt on poll date | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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Pattaya

Pattaya fisherman surprised by friendly whale shark visit

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PHOTO: A friendly whale shark approved a surprised fisherman this week in Pattaya. (via Facebook ไม่หยุดอยู่นิ่ง นาเกลือ)

A local Pattaya fisherman had a shocking surprise visitor and was conscious enough to record a video to share with the world. The man, a fisherman for 10 years, posted 2 videos to Facebook on Wednesday of what appears to be a friendly whale shark casually visiting his fishing boat. Sightings in Pattaya of the majestic sea creature are relatively rare.

Whale sharks are the largest known fish species still living on Earth. They average from 5.5 to 10 metres in length, but the largest shark ever confirmed had a length of 18.8 metres.

The man, who goes by Mai Yud Yoo Ning Naklua (ไม่หยุดอยู่นิ่ง นาเกลือ) was sailing near Pai Island when the shark approached. The shark spent several minutes floating just inches from the boat and could be seen with shark suckers flanking it. The whale shark swam around the back of the boat and the man was able to capture a 3-minute video of the shark and another 49-second video where he can be seen getting up close and personal with the sea creature as it surfaced.

The Facebook video can be viewed on his original post, seen here. The man’s post showed his excitement, as he described that it was his first time experiencing this in his 10 years on a fishing boat.

“This is my first time seeing a whale shark. I have been a fisherman for ten years and have heard many stories but this is my first opportunity to see one and share it with the world.”

Locals in the Koh Larn area believe the appearance of this friendly fish is a sign that the environment is thriving. Covid-19 has prevented the throngs of tourists that normally flood the area, and with the reduction in traffic and boats churning the water, marine life such as whale sharks can safely return. In the waters off the coast of Pattaya, it appears that nature is healing.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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