Friday, March 15, 2013

Municipal boundary adjustments

Yesterday, four announcements were published in the Royal Gazette, adjusting the boundaries of municipalities and TAO in two provinces.
  • Subdistrict municipality Mae Phrik (เทศบาลตำบลแม่พริก), Mae Phrik district, Lampang province and the TAO Mae Phrik (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบลแม่พริก). The announcement was done in two parts [Thesaban, TAO], and as usual only the announcement for the municipality includes a map. The previous municipal boundary dates back to the creation of the sanitary district Mae Phrik in 1956 [Gazette]. Comparing the two maps, the area of the municipality was enlarged significantly, adding area to the north and even more area to the south of the original municipality area. An interesting question would be whether there will now be early elections for the councils and mayor of the two local governments - the terms for the TAO will end in December 2013, the terms for the municipality in January 2014. At least for the municipality, first the Election Commission has to draw new constituency boundaries, the ones from 2004 are now of course obsolete.
  • Subdistrict municipality Ban Mai (เทศบาลตำบลบ้านใหม่, Gazette), Mueang Phayao district, Phayao province and subdistrict municipality Tha Champhi (เทศบาลตำบลท่าจำปี, Gazette). Both municipalities cover the whole same-named subdistrict - both were upgraded from being a TAO in 2009. Since Ban Mai is located directly north of Tha Champhi. Thus this announcement correlates with a change of subdistrict boundaries in 2012 [Gazette] - which mentions Ban Mai, Tha Champi and Ban Tam. maybe for the municipality Ban Tam there'll be a similar announcement forthcoming. Interestingly, both Ban Mai and Tha Champhi had their first local election as a municipality on February 21 this year, 1302 days after the last TAO council term had ended. Apparently the Election Commission waited with drawing the constituencies until this boundary issue was settled, the constituencies were announced in the Royal Gazette last November (Ban Mai, Tha Champi). More than three years without an elected local government is a very long time the government-installed municipal clerk (Palat Thesaban, ปลัดเทศบาล) could manage the municipality completely alone.

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