Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ko Samui municipal constituencies

With every change of status of a municipality the number of constituencies changes, thus whenever a TAO is upgraded to a municipality or a municipality gets upgraded to a higher municipal status the Election Commission has to draw constituencies for the council election. The constituencies are then announced in the Royal Gazette, but as there are so many of them I only add the basic information while adding them in my XML (as of today I have 2491), and of course normally don't mention them here.

Yesterday, the constituencies for Ko Samui were announced, which has been upgraded from a town municipality to a city municipality effective September 14. With the upgrade, the council has changed from 18 to 24 members, to be elected in four constituencies each having six seats. While most constituency definitions describe the boundaries even if the boundaries are identical with those of the administrative villages, in this case only the subdistricts and villages for each constituency is listed. For example, constituency one consists of village one to three of Ang Thong subdistrict, the whole Lipa Noi subdistrict and village one and three of Taling Ngam.

But since I have no map showing the boundaries of the administrative villages, this kind of definition doesn't help me much to create a map showing their outline. On the website of the municipality I found an announcement from a committee within the provincial office of the Department of Local Administration with three proposals for the constituencies - of which number one was then later chosen. The announcement has an archive attached, which contains maps for the three proposals - however sadly just photographs of the maps, thus not that sharp and not planar either.

The three constituencies for the town municipality from 2008 are defined by a boundary description only, the two constituencies of the subdistrict municipality defined in 2004 however also lists the subdistricts and villages. Apparently, the constituencies for the first municipal election in 2000 wasn't published in the Royal Gazette. But I found no maps for those, and not enough time to try to get the village boundaries from the map above and then merge the polygons to the 2004 constituencies.

Now the constituencies are defined, the Election Commission has to set the date for the election - as the council term ended on September 13, without the upgrade the election must have been within 45 days, thus no later than October 28. Not sure if there is any maximum delay between constituency definition and election, but as far as I know no date has been announced yet. Since the website of the Surat Thani Election Commission is not updated often (the latest found there is from June this year), the better place to find the date would be the Facebook page of the municipality...

No comments: