Alcohol sales ban planned for Pattaya and Bangkok elections

Following Thailand’s alcohol ban for the Buddhist holiday of Visakha Bucha Day, Pattaya and Bangkok dwellers can prepare for yet another alcohol ban coming just a week later! The upcoming alcohol sales ban will begin on Saturday, May 21, at 6pm, and last for 24 hours until Sunday, May 22, at 6pm.

The ban is in light of Pattaya’s Mayoral election, and Bangkok’s governor election, which will take place on May 22. The Pattaya News reports that in Pattaya, the ban will only apply to areas where the mayor has jurisdiction. This includes Pattaya proper, Koh Larn, and most of Jomtien and Naklua.

Letters about the ban have been sent to business owners, warning them that those who violate the ban can face hefty fines, and even jail time. The ban applies to foreigners as well, even though they can’t vote.

Thailand bans alcohol sales during provincial elections. The ban is reportedly supposed to discourage so-called ‘drink voting’ in Thailand, preventing people from voting for candidates they might regret voting for later on. But in past elections, angry social media users, particularly expats, called the ban a part of Thailand’s “ridiculous war on alcohol“.

When elections were held in December in 2020, one user wrote “They timed the election just to ruin Christmas”. Another wrote, “Just another example of people control…animal farm! Nothing less”. Another comment was “Farang can’t vote and should be exempted from this foolishness”.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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