Defections add spice to first OrBorJor meeting

PHUKET TOWN: A couple of defections and an unexpected challenge for one of the top posts disrupted the first meeting of Phuket’s newly elected Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) today. Before the meeting, the dominant group in the new council, the Kao Mai Party, was expected to call the shots, believing it had lined up all the necessary support. In the event, the Kao Mai’s domination remains unthreatened, but voting for one of the council’s top six jobs did not go as smoothly as expected. Kao Mai’s Suwit Wongwai was expected to be elected unchallenged as one of the chamber’s two deputy chairman. But he faced unexpected competition from Surapol Lianudom of the Thalang Group. Suwit beat off the challenge by a 15-8 margin in the secret ballot. Newly elected Chairman Somchai Duangkae of the Kao Mai explained after the meeting that the governing coalition now consists of nine members from his party, four from the Thalang Group, Chaianan Sootthikul from the Rak Kathu Party, and Boonma Aiebsup from the Ruampalung Party (also from Kathu), making a total of 15 – enough to continue commanding the majority in the 24-seat body. There was unanimity among members on the election of the Kao Mai’s leader, Dr Prasit Koysiripong, as President of the three-person central council. The choice of First and Second Vice Presidents is, under the rules of the OrBorJor, left to the President, who is widely expected to appoint Wisoot Santikul from the Kao Mai and Soratham Jinda from the Thalang Group. The voting for Chairman of the OrBorJor also went as expected, with K. Somchai being elected, and Manot Panchalat of the Thalang Group being voted into the remaining Deputy Chairman post. The Kao Mai had expected to get support from two Rak Kathu members, but ended up with only one. The next OrBorJor meeting will take place on March 7.

Phuket News
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