PATONG: Former mayor Pian Keesin, leader of the Rak Patong Party (RPP), beat rival Songserm Kepsap of the Patong Progress Party (PPP) by just 147 votes in the replay of municipal elections held yesterday. The results have yet to be confirmed by the Central Election Commission, which declared the previous election void. Of the 9,213 Patong residents eligible to vote, 5,997, or 65%, turned out for the poll. This was slightly fewer than the 6,239 who cast ballots in the previous poll on February 8, the results of which were nullified by the Central Election Commission on June 11. In the new poll, K. Pian received 2,934 votes and K. Songserm 2,787. There were 153 spoiled ballots, while 123 people ticked the “neither” box for mayor. Even if the election results stand – never a certainty in a Patong election – K. Pian may find it difficult to run the town effectively because 15 of the 18 town council members elected on Sunday are aligned with his opponent, K. Songserm. Dr Prapa Kayee, Chairman of the Phuket Election Committee (PEC), told the Gazette that the amount of time needed to confirm the results would depend on how many complaints her committee receives. People have three days to lodge complaints, she added. The results of the last election were declared void on June 11 and both parties were issued “yellow cards” indicating that both had broken campaign rules but that no specific offender could be pinpointed. Details of the infractions proven were not made public. The election replay was called for June 20, just nine days later, apparently in an effort to reduce the window of opportunity for vote-buying. Dr Prapa said, “If there are no complaints, confirmation may take only 10 days from the day we file our report to the Central Election Committee (CEC). “But if there are complaints and the CEC announces that this election too was unfair, the CEC will consider issuing either yellow or red cards [to the violators] depending on the evidence presented,” she explained. “We want Patong to have a Mayor and we want this to be the last election,” she added. Sadly for Dr Prapa’s wishes, complaints have already been lodged. PPP deputy leader Somkiat Kuru said, “Some people have already filed complaints about this election with the police and the PEC, and there will be more. “The same things occurred [as last time], such as the circulation of rumors and the spreading of disinformation,” he said. K. Somkiat added that the election results seemed strange to him, with 15 PPP members being elected, but not their leader. “It’s unusual that the leader wasn’t elected,” he said. While conceding defeat, PPP leader K. Songserm predicted that K. Pian would have difficulty running the municipality with 15 PPP members dominating the council. Making the rounds this morning to thank those who voted for him, K. Pian told the Gazette, that he and his administrative team would hold a strategy meeting soon. His last stint as mayor ended in October 2001, when his town budget proposal was rejected by the council, effectively a vote of no confidence. He praised the PEC for what he described as a clean poll. “The PEC worked very well and was very strict in this election, so there were fewer mistakes. “If the other side wants to file a complaint, they’re within their rights,” he said. “But I am not worried because I was not involved in vote-buying.” He added that his improved numbers (he lost to K. Songserm in the first poll by 322 votes) were because the ballot papers had been improved and were easier for people to understand. “My votes came from people who spoiled ballots last time,” he said. He added that although only three members from his team were elected, he did not expect this to affect his administration. “Every member of the council wants to work for Patong. I will be a leader and will present my vision and my abilities. It is inconceivable that they would simply oppose [me] without any reason.”
‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people
On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.
From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.
The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.
One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.
There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.
This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.
This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.
The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations
PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com
In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.
But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.
Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.
In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.
The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.
By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.
Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.
You can read the full list HERE.
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works
The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.
The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.
The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.
Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.
As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.
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