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Corruption threatens elections

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Corruption threatens elections | The Thaiger

BANGKOK (AFP): Ambitious reforms launched to root out endemic corruption in Thai politics aim to ensure that the January 6 elections will be the cleanest in the kingdom’s history, observers say. But there are fears that with “cash democracy” and patronage politics still deeply entrenched in the country, Thailand is setting itself up for a chaotic aftermath to the ballot as the axe falls on winning candidates found guilty of graft. The Pollwatch Foundation Thailand expects long delays as the winning party struggles to form a workable coalition, sparking unrest and instability that could paralyse the already shaky economy. Thailand has made brave and concerted attempts to clean up its political scene, spearheaded by the landmark 1997 anti-corruption constitution, said Chulalongkorn University professor Sunai Phasuk. “But the new politics and the old politics of vote-buying are clashing, and I don’t know that Thailand’s patronage system will be defeated,” he said. “Thailand’s reformers have created a system that seems like it should ensure a fair election, but too many people are still so familiar with patronage politics that they can’t grasp the new way.” The Election Commission, which has powers to boot out crooked politicians and order re-elections in graft-tainted electorates, has collared three candidates for vote-buying and dozens more are in its sights. With several re-elections in the offing after the coming lower house polls, Pollwatch says there is no chance that a government will be formed within the 30-day limit set out in the new constitution. “It will take at least two or three months. And in that case, everything will freeze. There will be no investment from abroad and civil servants will not be able to make important decisions,” said Pollwatch Secretary Somchai Srisuthiyakorn. “Instability will become a very serious issue and I think there will be widespread protests.” Many of the protests could become extremely unruly, he said. In Thailand’s countryside, vote-buying is still rampant, accepted by many as a way of life and virtually the only way for candidates to raise their profile. The Nakhon Ratchsima Rajabhat Institute, which has been studying the extent of election fraud, estimates that at least 20 billion baht (460 million dollars) in bribe money will circulate nationally during the campaign. Some Thais doubt whether the Election Commission and other reform-minded institutions will be able to wipe out graft anytime soon. “We are still years away from a system where candidates appeal to voters by means other than giving out cash,” said Chulalongkorn’s Professor Sunai.



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Phuket

Police hunting for driver in hit and run – Patong

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Police hunting for driver in hit and run – Patong | The Thaiger

WARNING: Extreme graphic content

Patong Friday, January 18, 2.06am – Police are trying to locate the driver of this hit and run silver sedan in Patong. If you have any information please contact the Tourist Police or Patong Police – 1155 or 191 (Thai)

VIDEO: Newshawk Phuket

PHUKETWARNING: Extreme graphic contentPatong Friday, January 18, 2.06am – Police are trying to locate the driver of this hit and run silver sedan in Patong. If you have any information please contact the Tourist Police or Patong Police – 1155 or 191 (Thai)VIDEO: Newshawk Phuket

Posted by The Thaiger on Saturday, January 19, 2019

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Phuket

UPDATE: Response to Rabies zone in Chalong

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UPDATE: Response to Rabies zone in Chalong | The Thaiger

‘Following the earlier reported rabies incident in Chalong, the Soi Dog Foundation yesterday (Friday, January 18) teamed up with The DLD and Chalong OBT to carry out vaccinations in the area the infected dog was discovered.

Jointly, the team was successful in vaccinating 128 dogs in a swift response to what is hoped to be an isolated case.

Working alongside the Chalong OBT and DLD, they carried out a door-to-door exercise, alerting local residents of the specific area in order to perform precautionary vaccinations of their pets, as well as street dogs in the vicinity.

Soi Dog Foundation, along with the Chalong Public Health Representative and DLD Representative, Dr.Suthat, are keen to urge the public that this is not an outbreak and are hopeful that it is an isolated incident.

However, as a further measure to ensure this remains as such, the team will continue with the rabies vaccination program on Monday, January 21.’

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Phuket

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin

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Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

A Thai man has been shot dead near Saphan Hin in eastern Phuket earlier today. The arrest warrant has already been issued for the suspect.

The Wichit Police were notified of the incident on Rattanakosin 200 pi Road near Saphan Hin at 3.40am this morning.

Police and rescue workers arrived to find the body of 30 year old Teerasak Saeong from Phuket covered with blood and laying on the road. Two bullet wounds were found on his right and left temple.

Seven bullets were also found around Mr Teerasak’s body. Nearby they found a motorbike. His body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for full autopsy and identification.

Witnesses told police that Mr Teerasak was stopped on his motorbike and was talking with the suspect who was in a black car. The suspect shot at Mr Teerasak and sped away.

Mr Teerasak was the son of a member of Rassada’s Municipal Council. At this stage police believe that the two had personal conflicts. Police are now searching for the driver of the vehicle who shot Mr Teerasak.

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

 

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