Wednesday, July 6, 2011

PAO elections in Nong Khai and Bueng Kan

This Sunday, the Provincial Administrative Organization (PAO) for the new province Bueng Kan will get elected, another step to make the new province completely operational.

The chairman of the PAO has to be elected, as well as the council of the PAO. When reading the article in Manager, to my surprise I noticed that it won't be elected from scratch, but those councilmen in the Nong Khai PAO council sent from the districts which now form Bueng Kan are already set, thus it is more a by-election to fill the vacant spaces, so the council again reaches its nominal size of 30 councilors. Therefore, the term of the council will end at the same day as it would have ended without the province creation. Correspondingly, in Nong Khai there will be also by-elections to fill the vacant spaces, these are to be held on July 16. As the Nong Khai PAO had 17 seats from the districts which now form Bueng Kan province, there are 13 seats which need to be elected now. In detail, these are
  • Mueng Bueng Kan - 4 seats
  • Ta Bo, Fao Rai - 2 seats
  • Phon Phisai - 3 seats
  • Si Chiang Mai, Rattanawapi - 1 seat
  • Pho Tak, Sa Khro, Sang Khon - no council election
The interesting thing would be the constituencies. For the PAO council, there are single-seated constituencies, thus those districts which now have to send more than one councilor needs to be divided into constituencies. But at the end of the term, there need to be different constituencies, as the number of seats per district will be different then. And an even more confusing situation could arise if one of the 17 councilors resigns or dies, then which constituencies are to be used for the by-election? The original one as used when that councilor was elected to the Nong Khai PAO? It would have been easier if the PAO council were to be elected from scratch, however that was apparently not possible as the PAO law states that the term of a councilor is four years.

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