PHUKET: Dr Sriyada Palimapan yesterday became Phuket’s first Thai Rak Thai (TRT) member of parliament, despite amassing only 7,893 votes – equivalent to just 8.18% of the electorate in Phuket District 1.
Her opponent, Thongchai Kaewthong of the Siam Party, received 2,456 votes.
In District 2, TRT candidate Wisut Santikul failed to win a seat in Parliament because he ran unopposed and did not receive votes equivalent to 20% of the total electorate in the district, as required by electoral law.
He received 8,920 votes, equivalent to 8.56% of the electorate.
As in the April 2 general election, “no votes” heavily outnumbered votes for candidates. In District 1, 42,991 people voted, with 30,517 people – 70.98% – choosing the “No Vote” box on the ballot sheet. There were 2,025 spoiled ballots.
In the District 2 poll, 47,053 people cast votes, with 34,845 (70.05%) choosing the “No Vote” option. There were 3,288 spoiled ballots.
Five voters publicly tore up their ballot papers yesterday in Phuket, in protest at the election and at the current state of Thai politics.
Krit Thepbamrung, Sommart Mankid, Wikrom Issarangkura Na Ayudhaya, Boonchai Jarasratsami, and Sonchai Rittichai were arrested and charged with contravening Article 108 of the Elections Act.
The maximum penalties for this offense are two years imprisonment or a 20,000-baht fine. Offenders may also be deprived for five years of their right to vote.
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