Phuket

Phuket gears up for national elections

PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Election Committee (PEC) expects a high voter turnout in the province for the upcoming general election, which will be held from 8 am to 3 pm on February 6.

PEC Chairman Dr Prapa Kayee said, “There was a low turnout, 74%, in the last general election. This time we think people are more familiar with the voting system, so we expect a better showing. We have also geven full instructions to some 4,000 new voters [18-year-olds] about how to vote.”

“We cannot yet announce how many eligible voters there are in Phuket; however we expect the number to be similar to [that for] the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) election held on March 14 [this year].

“In that election, Electoral District 1 [which covers Phuket City and immediate environs] had a registered population of 139,000 people and 91,139 eligible voters.

“District 2 [which covers the rest of the island] had a population of 131,560 people and 92,494 eligible voters,” she said.

The last working day for the current government will be January 5. Thais living overseas will be able to cast absentee ballots from January 20 to 30, she added.

Only four candidates have been confirmed by the PEC thus far, although the PEC will also accept registration forms, from January 10 to 14, for those seeking district seats. Political parties can register to be included on the party list ballot from January 7 to 9.

In District 1, Thai Rak Thai (TRT) candidate Dr Sriyada Palimapan will challenge incumbent Democrat Party MP Suwit Sa-Ngiamkul, while in District 2 Chalermlak Kebsup, also an incumbent from the Democrat Party, will take on TRT’s Wisut Santikul, a former OrBorJor Vice-President and Democrat Party member.

Those in the entertainment industry should note that it will be illegal to buy, sell or distribute alcohol from 6 pm on February 5 to midnight on February 6. Those found guilty of violating the alcohol ban will face up to six months in prison, a fine of up to 10,000 baht, or both.

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