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Khon Baan Rao slides into clear majority in Phuket election

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Khon Baan Rao slides into clear majority in Phuket election | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The Khon Baan Rao Party won 13 of 24 seats in the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO) council election on Sunday, according to the preliminary vote count, giving the local “pink party” a clear majority.

Khon Baan Rao, meaning “People from Our House” and led by PPAO President Paiboon Upatising, lost six of the 19 seats the party contested. The remainder were won by independents, who had a healthy showing with 37 independent candidates contesting the 24 seats available.

The heavy rains on Sunday may have played a part in fewer voters than expected turning out at polling stations to cast votes, said PPAO Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Manop Leelasuthanon.

“A total of 97,816 voters showed up at the polls across the island, which is 41.75 per cent of the total number of 234,265 eligible voters.

“Of those, 2,859 selected the “No Vote” option, and there were 9,992 spoiled ballots,” he added.

In accordance with the Election Act, the results have been sent to the Election Commission in Bangkok for confirmation. The commission has 30 days to confirm or reject the results.

“We have yet to receive any complaints of any candidates breaching election laws,” Mr Manop said.

The preliminary results for all seats were:

Muang District

Electorate No 1:

Thanatphat Thaneerat (Independent) – 1,223 votes
Rungsun Khonthong (Independent) – 1,207 votes

Electorate No 2:

Saroj Angkanapilas (Khon Ban Rao party) – 1,485 votes

Electorate No 3:

Boon-oom Uajittrakul (Independent) – 1,692 votes

Electorate No 4:

Prasit Sinsaowapark (Khon Baan Rao party) – 1,766 votes

Electorate No 5:

Supreeya Iamwiwatthanakul (Khon Baan Rao party) – 994 votes
Lek Thongpaen (Independent) – 891 votes

Electorate No 6:

Charat Apicharttrakul (Independent) – 1,681 votes
Chartchai Chuachit (Independent) – 841 votes
Jiratheep Nawarak (Khon Baan Rao party) – 664 votes

Electorate No 7:

Somkid Suphab,(Independent) – 1,459 votes
Kecha Chuachit (Independent) – 968 votes
Thongchai Kaewthong (Independent) – 788 votes
Ampol Oart (Independent) – 328 votes
Jirapol Sinthong (Independent) – 124 votes

Electorate No 8:

Wisansaya Polsin (Khon Baan Rao party) – 2,174 votes
Kittichai Jitprasan (Independent) – 612 votes

Electorate No 9:

Choosak Sematrakul (Khon Baan Rao party) – 2,288 votes
Detch Sae-Tiaw (Independent) – 1,702 votes
Chaiwat Sae-Tan (Independent) – 426 votes

Electorate No 10:

Theera Jiasakul (Khon Ban Rao party) – 1,838 votes
Mongkol Nilphusri (Independent) – 1,288 votes

Electorate No 11:

Pradit Saengjan (Khon Baan Rao party) – 1,491 votes
Warunee Ngarntassananukul (Independent) – 1,354 votes
Supajak Jampasits (Independent) – 262 votes

Electorate No 12:

Nuanjan Samart (Independent) – 2,149 votes
Saman Karaket (Khon Baan Rao party) – 1,997 votes

Electorate No 13:

Manoo Kiawkram (Independent) – 1,004 votes
Worawit Kwankaew (Independent) – 696 votes
Patibat Suwan (Khon Baan Rao party) – 552 votes
Somchai Kongsamret (Independent) – 487 votes
Pradit Choksakulpan (Independent) – 379 votes

Electorate No 14:

Pornthep Charmkao (Khon Baan Rao party) – 1,617 votes
Opart Chobdee (Independent) – 1,367 votes
Chamroen Nhuplad (Independent) – 1,362 votes
Surapa Malithong (Independent) – 203 votes

Electorate No 15:

Kraiwut Kumbaan (Khon Baan Rao party) – 2,738 votes
Narit Rodnakares (Independent) – 1,423 votes

Thalang

Electorate No 1:

Sitthichok Detchpiban (Independent) – 3,201 votes
Anuparp Wetchwanichsanong (Independent) – 2,942 votes

Electorate No 2:

Kamron Phanthip (Independent) – 1,714 votes
Sarttra Kankanok (Independent) – 1,644 votes
Sawat Matchawet (Khon Baan Rao party) – 983 votes

Electorate No 3:

Sanya Singsrida (Independent) – 2,806 votes
Sommit Suebsin (Khon Baan Rao party) – 1,462 votes

Electorate No 4:

Sanya Srimuang (Independent) – 3,639 votes
Sanit Siriwat (Independent) – 1,289 votes

Electorate No 5:

Sakchai Chaowai (Khon Baan Rao party) – 1,868 votes
Wirat Laolang (Independent) – 1,480 votes

Electorate No 6:

Prawat Pimanprom (Independent) – 2,488 votes
Narong Singkala (Khon Baan Rao party) – 1,631 votes

Kathu

Electorate No 1:

Boonyong Jirapisitthikul (Khon Baan Rao party) – 1,984 votes
Jakkree Buatangtansakul (Independent) – 1,395 votes

Electorate No 2:

Prasan Pratheep Na Thalang (Khon Baan Rao party) – 2,902 votes
Charoen Tonnam (Independent) – 1,895 votes

Electorate No 3:

Sonthaya Soontharak (Khon Baan Rao party) – 2,185 votes
Santhi Atthasab (Independent) – 1,937 votes

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

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30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Patong

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms

The Thaiger

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Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | The Thaiger

by Sophie Deviller

Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island are being forced to slash prices, with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as Thailand’s tourism chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year, after Bangkok, and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. But while 2.2 million people from the country visited in 2018, according to official figures, the numbers for January-September were down almost 20% year on year.

Claude de Crissey, the French Honorary Consul in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the Patong Beach area, says Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season.

“That was not the case this year,” he said, adding he had to lower his prices by as much as 50%.

The problem is not only in Phuket, with hotels also struggling to fill rooms in the seaside resort of Pattaya on the mainland and on Koh Samui.

Trade tensions with the US have already made some Chinese reluctant to take holidays owing to uncertainty back home, while the Thai baht has risen about 10% against the yuan this year.

A boating disaster off Phuket’s coast that killed 47 Chinese holidaymakers in July 2018 also scared some off.

“We are worried,” said an industry insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic in a country where tourism provides tens of thousands of jobs. Adding to the headache is the fact that more than 3,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed on the island, raising the question of who will fill them.

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

“In terms of business, it’s not good,” said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort.

“Because … we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops.”

Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained “optimistic.”

“We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors.”

However, that is only up from 38.2 million in 2018, much less than the jump seen from the previous year’s total of 35.6 million.

Counting on India

Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from elsewhere, particularly India, which experts see as a huge untapped market.

A rapid expansion of the middle class in India, increased direct flights and visa-free travel have prompted Thailand to revise forecasts upwards.

It now expects two million Indian tourists this year, after an increase of nearly 25% on-year in the first seven months. But for now, the lower arrivals is evident on the streets of Phuket.

“I’ve never seen anything as bad as what it is at the moment,” said Paul Scott from Australia, who said he has been coming to Thailand for 15 years.

He mainly blamed the stronger baht for the drop-off but also the fact that Thailand wasn’t the untouched vacation paradise it once was. “Now it’s not so new … and it’s not cheap,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

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Events

The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners

The Thaiger

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The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners | The Thaiger

4,000 runners from Thailand and overseas took part in the 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Half Marathon 2019 yesterday, starting from the Phuket Gateway.

The event is expected to raise 700,000 baht for the charity, now in its 15th year. The money raised goes towards to The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is committed to protecting the marine and coastal environment, and ecosystems, for the wellbeing of sea turtles that nest in the Mai Khao beach and the surrounding areas.

The annual race also provides funds for thePhuket Marine Biological Centre’s Injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program and The Third NavalArea Command’s Turtle Hatchery Program.

The race was in its 15th year and runners of all ages and abilities took part in the race. The morning’s racing was divided into five categories – the 21.1km half marathon, 10.5km mini- marathon, 5km fun run and 3k family run and VIP participants for all the races. The route of 21.1 kilometre race took runners northwest along the Haad Sai Kaew beach towards Thao Thepkasattri bridge, past the rural road No. 3006, run along the road – Pi Lai viewpoint area returned back along the T. Baan Tha Nun to the iconic Sarasin bridge before finished the half marathon in the Phuket Gateway.

For Mini Marathon 10.5 km – Over all category, Mr. Chinnawat Changlek clocked 39 minutes and 40 seconds to clinch victory in the male half marathon, winning prize money and a trophy with the signature of Phuket’s Governor. The winner in the female mini marathon was Surakarn Wanna with a time of 47 minutes and 47 seconds.

Winners also received a prize gift voucher as well as a medal. Congratulations to all participants.

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