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Probe into Patong municipal poll

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Probe into Patong municipal poll | Thaiger

PATONG: Thirteen days after Songserm Kepsap and his Patong Progress Party (PPP) swept aside former mayor Pian Keesin and other Raksa Patong Party candidates in the Patong municipal election, the poll results have yet to be certified by the Government – and an investigation is now underway to determine if the poll was tainted by vote-buying. Kittipong Thiengkunagrit, Director of the Phuket Election Commission (PEC), told the Gazette today that after sending the results of the February 7 poll to the Central Election Commission (CEC) in Bangkok for final certification, he was instructed by the CEC to investigate complaints it had received, accusing members of the PPP of buying votes. “We don’t know when [or if] the CEC will certify the results and declare a winner. If complaints are issued against winning candidates there has to be an investigation to determine whether the charges are true or false. This is what we are doing now,” K Kittipong said. He refused to elaborate on the exact nature of the complaints or to specify how many were being investigated, though he did say that a number had already been rejected for lack of evidence. In the meantime, Phuket’s premier playground is – once again – without a municipal government. If the complaints are found to be proven, the poll result will be voided and another election will be called – the town’s sixth in as many years.

 

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