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No “drink voting” – Alcohol ban on Saturday and Sunday during elections

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CORRECTION: Dates for the alcohol ban were incorrect in an earlier report. The correct dates are Saturday, December 19 to Sunday, December, 20. 

Possibly in an effort to make sure no one stumbles to the voting polls and casts their ballots drunk, alcohol will be banned from 6pm Saturday until 6pm Sunday during Thailand’s municipal council elections across the country.

Selling booze during the 24-hour ban carries a pretty hefty fine: up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to 10,000 baht. Bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues can remain open, but they are prohibited from selling alcohol, according to Phuket Election Commission director general Passakon Siripakayapon.

Drinking alcohol at home is still allowed, as long as it is not sold, he adds. (So stock up before Saturday night.)

Thailand’s Election Act was revised in September 2018, banning alcohol during elections. According to The Sun, Thai authorities decided to ban alcohol during elections to prevent voting manipulation and bribery. Apparently, canvassers used to throw parties right before the election (or possibly during) to get more votes.

This week, voters will elect representatives for the Provincial Administration Organisation, or PAO. Voting is compulsory for Thai citizens. While failing to vote doesn’t carry a fine, a person could lose up to 6 citizen’s rights for not casting a ballot.

SOURCES: Thai Visa | Phuket News | Sun UK

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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