Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Phuket PAO chairmen early election

Last week, Paiboon Upattising (ไพบูลย์ อุปัติศฤงค์), chairman of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PAO, องค์การบริหารส่วนจังหวัดภูเก็ต) sent a letter of resignation to the province governor. The interesting part is that actually his term in office would have ended in April this year anyway, and he announced that he will run for re-election, so in effect this will separate the chairman election from the PAO council election, as now a new chairman election has to be held within 60 days. The reasons he gave according to Phuket Gazette are
Mr Paiboon added that he preferred the OrBorJor elections to be held early because he foresees delays in holding the elections.
“There are problems with the constituency boundaries because of the imbalance in the increasing number of people in each voting district. The boundaries must be changed to redress this problem before the election can be held, and I have heard of no progress about this,” he said.
So far, no announcement on the PAO constituencies in any of the provinces has been published in the Royal Gazette, except for Buriram which has its election some months earlier than the others anyway. Since the constituencies are only necessary for the council, an election for the chairman can be held without any redefinition of constituencies.
Mr Paiboon cited problems in redrawing constituency boundaries as causing delays in holding elections in both the Rawai and Chalong municipalities.
“They have not had mayors for more than six months. This is causing a lot of problems, and all because of problems in redrawing the constituency boundaries.
“Many important decisions have not been made because the position of the mayor [in Rawai and Chalong] is empty. Election dates have not even been set.” he added.
At least for Chalong, just yesterday the constituencies were announced, with the announcement signed on February 8. Thus now at least for Chalong the municipal election can be finally be held.

It is a bit surprising that due to a slow drawing of constituencies elections can be postponed for many months. Whereas Chalong was just recently upgraded from being a TAO and if the Election Commission wasn't notified in time this could be an explanation for the delay, in case of Rawai there were municipal constituencies defined in 2007 already and it was beforehand known that the four year term will end in 2011 and the constituencies need to be checked at that time.

Anyway, now there will be two elections for the PAO in Phuket this year, and for sure the some expats and tourists especially in Patong will complain bitterly about the two sober weekends - to prevent the voters from going to the ballot intoxicated no alcohol will be on sale in shops and bars all weekend.

No comments: