PHUKET: The upcoming general election will be a sobering experience for the island’s party people, as a ban on alcohol sales will force bars to close for two consecutive weekends – starting at 6 pm tomorrow night.
Phuket Election Commission Director Supap Akkam this morning confirmed that the new election law prohibits alcohol sales not only on election day, but during the two-day advance voting period the week before.
As advance voting will be held this Saturday and Sunday, the ban on alcohol begins tomorrow at 6 pm. At that time, all bars and other outlets vending alcohol must cease sales until midnight on Sunday – or face arrest, he said.
All political campaigning is banned from 8 am Saturday until 6 pm on Sunday, he added.
The same ban on alcohol sales will also apply during the poll on December 23, when alcohol sales will be banned from 6 pm on Saturday, December 22 until midnight the following day.
Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Paween Pongsirin told the Gazette that police will strictly enforce the ban, the purpose of which is to prevent drunken behavior that could disrupt polling or lead to violations of electoral law.
With two consecutive high-season weekends sacrificed to the cause of democracy, publicans can take some solace in the fact that all nightspots in Phuket will be allowed to remain open throughout the night on New Year’s Eve.
The official closing time that night has been moved to 6 am on New Year’s Day, Col Paween said.
Normal closing times will apply on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which are not official holidays in Thailand, he said.
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