Prawit billboard comes with note asking for legal leniency

PHOTO: Prawit billboard comes with a note asking for legal leniency. (via Thai Newsroom)

In the northeastern province of Bueng Kan, billboards have been appearing promoting caretaker Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan. One recently spotted sign in the province’s main city of the same name along the Laos border came with a note attached asking authorities to go easy on them for erecting the billboard, possibly skirting payment and regulations.

The sign features a large image of Prawit wearing a Covid-19 face mask with messages about a conservation project he had previously visited in the province. The billboard talked about watershed forest conservation and bore the logo of the Palang Pracharath Party that Prawit now leads.

The sign seems to be one of many placed around the region touting local projects that the government has aided or campaigns the government promoted. Each features Prawit and the Palang Pracharath Party logo as well as info about the different projects they supported.

But this sign had a smaller notice attached at the base of the billboard that attracted extra attention. It requested special kindness from the highway department in allowing them to use the public land to make a giant billboard promoting Prawit apparently for free. The note also requested a tax exemption for the billboard when normally the Bueng Kan municipality would impose a signboard tax.

A mobile phone number was also included on the note attached to the bottom of the billboard, saying it connected any caller to a government directing centre to handle any questions.

Though the election campaign season officially begins on September 24, when the current House of Representatives term is in its last 180 days, the signs popping up around the northeast seem to suggest early campaigning to win votes for the Palang Pracharath Party and for Prawit himself to be the next prime minister.

Many are cynical of the campaigning though, saying that, coming into election season, the touting of last-minute projects such as distributing welfare cards for up to 20 million poor people is essentially an attempt at buying their vote.

SOURCE: Thai Newsroom

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Northern Thailand News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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