“Shops and restaurants are banned from selling alcohol from 6pm on August 6 (Saturday) to midnight on August 7 (Sunday),” Phuket Provincial Police Commander Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen told The Phuket News.
Hotels are included in the alcohol ban, Col Teeraphol confirmed.
“The only places allowed to sell alcohol during the prescribed hours are duty-free stores as the alcohol cannot be consumed until it has been taken out of the country,” he said.
Election Commission Phuket office (PEC) Director Kittipong Thiengkunakrit estimated that nearly 300,000 eligible voters will be heading for the 370 polling booths set up across the island on August 7.
However, Col Teeraphol said he expected no issues with traffic jams on polling day. “The referendum will be held on a Sunday, so it should not affect people in their daily lives because most people will be at home,” he said.
“I do not think the voting will affect traffic. The polling booths will be spread across the island, not in one place,” he added.
Col Teeraphol also assured that security was not an issue in Phuket. “Don’t worry about safety or security issues on the day because officers have been assigned to keep peace and order. Safety of Phuket residents and tourists are our priority,” he said.
The referendum on August 7 will ask two questions. The first will ask whether voters accept or reject the draft constitution. (To see the “unofficial” draft constitution as posted by the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand, click here).
The second question will ask voters whether they accept or reject allowing the National Council for Peace and Order to select all 250 members of the Senate, who will be able to vote with elected MPs to choose the prime minister.
A large public-awareness event will be held at Saphan Hin, near Phuket Town, on August 4 to encourage voters to cast their ballots in the referendum, PEC Director Mr Kittipong told The Phuket News.
“Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada will launch the campaign the opening ceremony at 9am,” he said.
“Many sound trucks decorated with billboards to encourage voters to turn out will leave Saphan Hin, with some driving through Phuket Town and others heading to Thalang.
“A big bike cavalcade promoting the referendum will also head to Karon and Patong, while a procession of cyclists will ride to Kathu,” Mr Kittipong said.
Similar events will be held across the country, he added.
Only Thai nationals over 18 years of age can vote in the referendum, and they must have been registered on a house registration document (tabien baan) in Phuket for at least 90 days. Thais living outside the country are illegible to vote.
The 370 polling booths will be set up at community halls, schools and local administration and municipality offices in each subdistrict throughout Phuket.
The polling booths will be open from 8am to 4pm.
“If people are not sure where to vote, they can ask their community leaders or call us at 076-354692,” explained one PEC official.
“Ballots in each area will be counted by a local committee comprising mostly government officials, but also teachers and community leaders,” the official explained.
Votes will recounted again at each district level, with votes cast in Muang District counted at Saphan Hin; votes cast in Kathu counted again at Kathu Wittaya School; and votes cast in Thalang counted again at Sala Phra Nang Sang, she added.
“At the end of the day, all ballots will be publicly tallied at Saphan Hin,” the official said.