PHUKET CITY: The first day to register candidacies for the upcoming Phuket City Municipality elections saw a large turnout by supporters of both the incumbent Khon Noom (Young Turks) party led by incumbent mayor Somjai Suwannasuppana and her rival Ayuth Tansiriroj and his Chao Baan Sarng San (Creative) party.
K. Ayuth, a lawyer and former ally of K. Somjai, hopes to wrest control of City Hall from the Young Turks after almost three decades of continuous rule.
One of three deputy mayors dismissed by Mayor Somjai in April of 2005, K. Ayuth is a cousin of one of the original founders of the Young Turks.
Candidacy registration opened today at 8.30 am at the Phuket City Municipality meeting room on Narisorn Rd.
The process was overseen by Phuket Vice-Governor Tri Augaradacha in his capacity as president of the Phuket Election Committee (PEC).
Also present was Vice-Governor Worapoj Ratthasima and other officials who attended as witnesses.
After Phuket City Municipality’s four-year term ended on April 4, the election was set for May 11.
On that day, polling stations will be open in four voting districts across the city, from 8:30 am to 3 pm.
Voters will cast ballots for mayor, along with six choices for a city council seat from their district in the 24-seat assembly.
In a draw of lots, K. Somjai and K. Ayuth drew numbers 1 and 2, respectively.
For regular city councilor seats, Young Turk candidates drew numbers 1-6, while Creative candidates drew numbers 7-12.
No independents or candidates from other parties registered on the first day of the registration period, which ends on Friday.
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