The House of Representatives approved legislation on October 1  to have chiefs of TAMBON Administration Organization directly elected.I did not know that the TAO chairmen (นายกองค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล) were directly elected, I just knew that this was changed for the mayors of the municipalities sometime after 2000. Also, the minimum population number for a TAO was new to me, though the report contains a minor mistake - not the Tambon will get merged, only the TAO which will then be responsible for more than one Tambon.
MPs cast a unanimous vote for the legislation under which TAO chiefs will be elected by TAMBON residents instead of TAO members as long as basic democratic rule is concerned.
Meanwhile , the size of population under the care of the TAO remains at a minimum of 2,000 people, though the extraordinary House committee in charge of revising the bill had earlier suggested there be as many as 4,000 people in one TAMBON.
One TAMBON might otherwise be merged with another so the size of the local unit could grow to a minimum of 4,000 villagers.
House committee chairman CHAMLONG KRUTKUNTOD said his panel had merely intended to see a stronger local unit but did not object to a downsized 2,000.
Looking into my Gazette database, I notice that several TAO were in fact merged in either a neighboring TAO or a neighboring municipality in 2004, also several of the remaining Tambon Councils (TC) were either upgraded to TAO or merged into an already existing one.
And if I am not totally mistaken, the act talked about in that news report is the "Tambon Council and Tambon administrative organization act (Issue 5) of 2003" (พระราชบัญญัติสภาตำบลและองค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล (ฉบับที่ ๕) พ.ศ. ๒๕๔๖), which was published in Royal Gazette in Dezember 2003.