Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TAO elections last Sunday

Last Sunday, September 6th, were local elections in many of the Tambon administrative organizations (TAO). Since it is impossible to report on all the results, at least the English newspapers have focused on the irregularities during the election, most prominently the vote-buying.

Bangkok Post writes
Poll cheats are suspected of spending more money than ever in the elections which were held in 2,959 tambons across 74 provinces.
In the lower southern province of Trang, two election canvassers were arrested with cash they allegedly were using to buy votes.
A few quotes from The Nation have the same tone
In constituencies witnessing a tight race, the bribes reportedly soared to Bt2,000 per vote.
Some candidates handed out pre-paid telephone cards in lieu of bills.
In Trang, Ban Khlong Then police rounded up independent candidate Thawee Phuagphet on suspicion of buying votes.
Confronted by evidence seized from his home, including Bt39,300 in cash and a list of voters, Thawee admitted he was preparing to distribute the funds in order to sway votes.
Something I noticed directly when reading the two articles is the fact that the two cite different numbers of TAO which held elections. From an earlier article by Bangkok Post
People across the country go to polling stations on Sunday to elect members of 2,959 tambon administrative organisations.
The polls, in which more than 117,000 people are vying for TAO seats and more than 6,400 people are running for TAO mayoral posts, are expected to be fierce in several areas.
However, The Nations says it were 2939 TAO which held election, and also mentions that both the council as well as the chairman were elected. One of the numbers must be wrong, and in fact while The Nation has the correct number, they also left out some details. A report on the website of the parliament gives the full data:
การเลือกตั้งท้องถิ่น ระดับองค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล (อบต.) ทั่วประเทศ 74 จังหวัด รวม 2,939 แห่ง แยกเป็นเฉพาะนายก อบต. 3 แห่ง สมาชิก อบต. (ส.อบต.) 249 แห่ง และนายก อบต. และสมาชิก อบต. 2,687 แห่ง เมื่อวันที่ 6 กันยายน
Thus, there were 2939 TAO which held an election on September 6 - in three TAO only the chairman (นายก) was elected, in 249 only the council (สมาชิก อบต.) and another 2687 TAO where both chairman and council were elected.

Some preliminary results of the TAO chairmen elections I could find at Matichon, but since none of the names of the local politicians will have any meaning to the English readers I'll spare you the attempt the translate that list. The more general results in an earlier report only mention the expected - in Surat Thani 73 of 81 winning TAO chairmen were supported by the Democratic party, and in Buriram the "friends of Newin" faction also made a sweeping win. BangkokPundit also has some analysis based on that Matichon article.

No comments: