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Six apply to run in April 23 by-election

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Six apply to run in April 23 by-election | Thaiger

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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