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Six apply to run in April 23 by-election

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Six apply to run in April 23 by-election | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Six people have applied to run in the April 23 parliamentary by-elections in Phuket, four of them in District 1, which covers Phuket City and the immediate area, and two in District 2, covering the rest of the island.

The Phuket Election Commission (PEC) will take just a few days to determine which of the candidates will qualify to run, the PEC’s chief said today.

The Commission accepted applications for candidacy over the weekend. However, only Thai Rak Thai (TRT) District 1 candidate Dr Sriyada Palimapan chose to register on Saturday. The remaining five candidates all registered yesterday, April 9. In Chinese numerology the number 9 is thought to be more auspicious.

In the April 2 poll both TRT candidates ran unopposed, but both failed to get the minimum 20% of eligible votes required to claim a seat. The vast majority of voters in both districts ticked the “no vote” box on their ballot cards.

The TRT’s District 2 candidate, Wisut Santikul, arrived at Phuket Provincial Hall late yesterday afternoon with a small band of supporters.

They were outnumbered by a contingent of anti-TRT protesters who greeted K. Wisut with songs such as Nak Phaen Din (which roughly translates as “You’re a waste of space”), and chanted “Thaksin Get Out!” and “Ai Na Liam” (Damned Squareface! – a reference to caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s facial structure).

Undaunted, K. Wisut, a former Vice-President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization, told the Gazette, “I don’t feel any pressure and I still want to work as a politician.

“I want to work in Parliament, not along a roadside,” he added in reference to his detractors, who were lined up along the street.

“I will have to improve the people’s understanding of me. I believe that there about 20,000 TRT supporters in District 2 and I need more of them to come out and support me on election day,” he said.

Also filing his candidacy yesterday was Prayoon Poonchan, of the little-known Pattana Chart Thai Party, who was defeated in the April 2 poll in Nakhon Sri Thammarat. If the PEC rules that he is qualified to run in Phuket, the vote tally needed by K. Wisut will drop to just 5% of all eligible voters – a number he should be able to reach easily, if returns in the last poll are any indication.

Registering their candidacies in District 1 yesterday were Thavorn Permpoon of the Thai Chuay Thai Party and Pol Sgt Panya Borirak of the Pattana Chart Thai Party, both of whom were disqualified in the previous poll by the 90-day rule.

They are joined by Thongchai Kaewthong of the Siam Party, a newcomer to the race.

PEC Director Kittipong Thiengkunagrit said his agency would review the qualifications of all the applicants and make a ruling on their legitimacy in a few days’ time.

Members of the locally powerful Democrat Party, which will boycott this election as it did the last, have charged that the TRT is paying small party members to run so that TRT candidates can skirt the 20% requirement.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at worldometer.info website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14 day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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