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July 20 set for national election

Legacy Phuket Gazette



July 20 set for national election | The Thaiger


– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

July 20 set for national election
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The government and the Election Commission agreed today to set July 20 as the date for the new election.

EC chairman Supachai Somcharoen said the atmosphere in the meeting was good and the caretaker government agreed with all the EC proposals.

The meeting with the caretaker premier took place in the afternoon at the Royal Thai Air Force Academy. Before the meeting, Supachai said the EC proposed three election dates – July 20, August 17 and September 14 – to the government.

It also presented the results of its earlier meetings with security agencies and political parties as well as Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The EC felt July 20 was an appropriate date but if the government disagreed, then it must give its reasons, he said before the meeting. The EC would listen but remained true to its stance is that the election must not be held in an atmosphere of conflict and that there must be no violence.

Meanwhile, EC member Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said the government must ensure a free and fair election, it must stay neutral as the caretaker government and must not abuse the power for its advantage and the security agencies must provide support in maintaining peace and order during the election process,.

He also said the EC might postpone the election in problematic places where balloting cannot properly take place properly.

The government must accept the situation, said Mr Somchai, as it was possible that the election could take place but the House of Representatives could not convene within 30 days of the election date.

On Yingluck’s Facebook page, she said that in the morning she had attended a meeting to follow up the work of government agencies. She hoped that the election, delayed for more than three months, would take place thus allowing the people to get the government they wanted soon.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Pre-Songkran inspections of public buses and their drivers

The Thaiger & The Nation



Pre-Songkran inspections of public buses and their drivers | The Thaiger

The Land Transport Department has started the inspection of drivers and mechanical condition of public transport vehicles at bus stations ahead of the Songkran holiday period next month.

The period, aka. the ‘seven days of danger’, is notorious for a marked increase in road accidents due to much higher traffic levels as Thai’s head home for celebrations.

On the first two days of inspections, March 15-16, a total of 25,636 buses, and their drivers and rest schedules, were checked, but no flaws that could affect road safety had yet been found, according to the deputy director-general Kamon Buranapong.

25,636 buses checked and not ONE mechanical defect!

Bus drivers were also given blood alcohol tests. There were no drivers over the alcohol limit.

The vehicle inspections – a Land Transport Department collaboration with the Office of Vocational Education Commission and related agencies, to be conducted at 195 transportation hubs and locations – form part of a Songkran 2019 road-safety campaign, which kicked off on March 15 with the main theme to get motorists “to drive slowly, turn on headlights and wear seat belts” and motorcyclists “to turn on headlights and wear safety helmets”, Kamon explained.

Vehicle inspection is being carried out in three phases: the preparation period from March 15-21, the pre-Songkran period from April 4-10, and the Songkran period itself from April 11-17.

Pre-Songkran inspections of public buses and their drivers | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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King Power’s duty free monopoly under review

The Thaiger & The Nation



King Power’s duty free monopoly under review | The Thaiger

King Power Duty Free’s monopoly of duty free concessions at some of Thailand’s busiest airports may be coming to an end.

The Thai PM has warned against the “monopolisation” of the country’s airport duty free sector ordering a review of the auctioning process that could threaten the multi-billion-dollar empire of current concession holder King Power.

Thailand expects to welcome over 40 million foreign visitors this year, mostly through its airports which rake in an estimated US$1.9 billion a year in duty free sales.

Airports of Thailand (AoT) awarded King Power the sole concession back in 2006 but is set to expire in September 2020. AoT is a state-run enterprise.

King Power was founded by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the tycoon who made billions from duty free stores and invested in everything from hotels, property and, famously, the Leicester City football club. His helicopter crashed outside the club’s home ground in October last year. According to Forbes Magazine, Vichai had handed his empire to his youngest son Aiyawatt. At his death the company was valued around US$5.8 billion,

The new contract for duty-free sales, AoT says, will be managed by a single company with a proven track record of experience in the sector, creating fears of a prolonged monopoly.

But PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha has stepped in saying the government has received complaints from interested parties “on the issue of monopolisation”. He assigned an urgent review of the bidding to find a “suitable process to be fair”.

Thailand’s Mall Group and shopping empire Central Group are eyeing entry into duty-free while South Korean giant Lotte is also wanting to bid for the valuable concession.

Last year, a Thai court rejected an attempt to sue King Power for hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid revenue to the airport authority.

SOURCE: The Nation

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One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi

The Thaiger



One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | The Thaiger

Photo: Prachinburi PR Office

A bus has crashed just north-east of Bangkok, killing one and injuring another 10.

Wangkhon Police in Prachinburi were notified of the accident at 4:40am early today.

The bus was travelling from Nong Bua Lamphu, north east of Thailand, to Prachinburi. The bus was carrying 20 high school students and 19 teachers.

When the bus arrived at the section of the road at Nadee in Prachinburi, the bus careered off the side of the road and overturned.

One female student died instantly while others 10 passengers sustained injuries. They were rushed to the Nadee Hospital.

Police are continuing their investigation this morning.

One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | News by The Thaiger One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | News by The Thaiger One dead, kids injured in school bus accident in Prachinburi | News by The Thaiger

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