Chai-Anan elected Kathu mayor

KATHU: By exactly 1,000 votes, Chai-Anan Suttikun beat rival candidate Somkid Choosawat in the October 12 election for Mayor of Kathu, Phuket Election Committee (PEC) Director Supap Akkam has confirmed.

Mr Chai-Anan, representing the Rak Kathu (Love Kathu) party, garnered 4,815 votes, while Mr Somkid from rival party Kathu Pattana (Kathu Development) secured 3,815 votes.

The result makes Mr Chai-Anan Kathu Municipality’s first directly-elected mayor, as the sub-district was upgraded to from tessabaan tambon to tessabaan muang status on July 14.

The upgraded status means that Kathu Municipality will have access to larger tax-based budgets to maintain public utilities.

Despite the win, Mr Chai-anan will lead a minority in town hall as Rak Kathu won only 8 regular seats compared to 10 for Kathu Pattana.

In the run-up to the poll, former Kathu Mayor Prasert Khaokitpaisarn stepped aside and let fellow Kathu Pattana member Somkid run as mayoral candidate.

Mr Chai-Anan’s campaign included nightly spots on a local cable TV news program.

Voter turnout was good until 1 pm when heavy rains began to dampen voter enthusiasm until the polls closed at 3 pm. Of the 18,460 eligible voters in the district, some 65% turned out to cast ballots.

There were 760 spoiled ballots, with 955 people opting for the “no vote” option.

During campaigning, Mr Chai-Anan said, “I will work to improve health, quality of life and security as well as develop more participation by local people for the development of Kathu, including promotion and development of traditional local products.”

Attapong “Ko Pud” Chantarattanawong, who did not run for election on the municipal council, has been named Deputy Mayor. His portfolio of responsibilities includes education and sports.

The names of Mr Chai-anan’s other deputy mayors, advisors and personal secretary have not yet been announced.

PEC Director Mr Supap said no complaints of voter fraud or other impropriety had been received by his office.

Phuket News

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