Monday, September 12, 2011

Surat Thani municipal elections

Thirakit, probably the new mayor
Yesterday were the municipal election in Surat Thani city, both the mayor as well as the municipal council were elected. There were three candidates for the post of mayor
  1. Sombun Suwannabut (นางสมบูรณ์ สุวรรณบุตร), incumbent
  2. Thirakit Wangmuthitakun (นายธีระกิจ หวังมุทิตากุล)
  3. Sufang Chaewong (นายสุฟ้าง แซ่หว่อง)
Sufang banners
Though the campaigning officially started August 5, four year after the last municipal election marking the end of the term in office, I was able to catch photographs of all three mayor candidates while I was strolling through the city end of May. While I was looking for posters for the national elections - and there were just very few within the city - I found one poster of each of the new candidates. Rather interesting is the banner by candidate three, which shows Sufang with an old photograph of a whale caught or stranded. I wasn't even aware that there were whales in the Gulf of Thailand except the dolphins off Khanom beach and in Songkhla lake, but now learned that Bryde's Whale also is found in the Gulf of Thailand. Sadly don't know anything about the background of that photo on the poster.

City rewire project
The poster of incumbent mayor Sombun is not exactly an election poster, but the project announcement for the rewiring in the city center, getting rid of the ugly cables on posts along the street, changing to underground cables. Back in May a lot of construction on this project was underway within the city,   and though still a lot more will be necessary to make Surat Thani an actually beautiful city it will definitely look better when this project is done. And I wouldn't be surprised of this project was started right on time to be completed with the election date. One thing I am not yet understanding - according to the municipal law a mayor is only allowed to be in office for two consecutive terms, however Sombun would have started a third term if elected. Don't know why her first term starting in 2003 apparently did not count.

The election result is interesting, according to the inofficial preliminary result  the mayor will change, as Thirakit won 17,699 votes compared to 16,406 for incumbent mayor Sombun. Sufang only won 5,791 votes.

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