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Surasak barred from election



Surasak barred from election | Thaiger

PATONG: The Phuket Provincial Court this morning upheld an order by former Interior Minister Purachai Piemsomboon instructing Patong Mayor Surasak Maneesri to quit his post as mayor because of conduct likely to bring the Patong Municipality into disrepute. It therefore barred K. Surasak from running in the Patong Mayoral election, due to take place on November 16 and 17. K. Surasak told the Gazette this afternoon, “I’m not at all worried, because my brother is still a candidate. If he is elected as mayor, that means I am elected too, because I still can be an adviser to my brother.” He added, “I think people still support us [the Patong Progress Party] and barring me from election will also make people more sympathic toward us. I don’t think our reputation has been damaged, because I haven’t done anything wrong. “Today, many people went to the court and they wept when they learned that I would not be able to run for office.” He is not giving up his political hopes yet, he said. “I have already lodged an appeal with the Administrative Court in Songkhla. If that appeal succeeds, I’ll be back in politics in Patong again.” A decision by the Administrative Court could take years to hand down. Rival candidate Chairat Sukbal commented, “I feel sorry for K. Surasak but I’d rather not comment further. We still can be friends, whether I am elected or not. I can work with everyone.” Somkiet Kwansuwan, the Palad of Patong Municipality, declined to comment because he had not yet seen the decision from the court. The man who is looking increasingly likely to be Patong’s next mayor, Pian Keesin, also declined to comment because, he said, he was “very busy meeting voters”. It is not clear yet how long K. Surasak will be barred from election. However, under the Municipality Election Laws of 1939 and 1998, anyone who is not qualified for office yet stands for election is liable to a fine of up to 1,000 baht or a jail term of up to a year, or both, and will be barred from political office for eight years.


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