Paiboon finally gets some opposition
PHUKET: Friday was a day of surprises in the race for the presidency of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (OrBorJor), which until then was looking like a one-horse race.
Monday 12 March 2012, 03:45PM
First, Wisut Santikul, former deputy president of the OrBorJor and a perennial politician, arrived at Phuket Community Hall to register as a candidate, joining the recently resigned President of the OrBorJor, Paiboon Upatising, who registered last Monday morning.
Chayot Wisartpong, a former OrBorJor official from Tambon Pa Khlok, also registered as a candidate on Friday.
However, after sitting and chatting with members of the press Mr Wisut decided not to sign up after all.
Mr Wisut was one of the members of the first elected OrBorJor, 12 years ago. Since then, however, his political career has been defined almost entirely by disappointments.
Four years after the 2000 victory, his party was defeated by the Democrat machine headed by Anchalee Vanich-Thepabutr.
Later the same year (2004) he ran for election as a parliamentary candidate of the Thai Rak Thai Party, the precursor of the Pheu Thai Party which currently runs the government.
He failed to be elected. He failed again – twice – in parliamentary elections in 2006.
On Friday he explained that he had considered running in the election “because I think Phuket people should have a choice”.
“This election is not fair for other candidates because it is [taking place so fast]. Other candidates do not have much time to promote their policies to people, compared with former president [Paiboon Upatising] who has been [in the public eye] for a long time.”
He added, “I have no personal problem with [Mr Paiboon] but I don’t think he has a clear policy to develop Phuket or to fix any of Phuket’s problems. He is not a team player – he is always the one who makes the decisions, and his co-workers cannot be a part of the team.
“His resignation from the presidency has no meaning when he can still come back to register for election again and again. Other local government leaders may follow this example and Phuket people will end up living with the old system and not knowing if their homeland is improved or not,” Mr Wisut said.
Later on Friday Mr Paiboon finally got some opposition, in the form of Chayot Wisartpong, a former OrBorJor official from Tambon Pa Khlok. He received the candidate campaign number 2.
He, too, felt that people should have a choice. “There is no other candidate registered, so I decided to do so in order to give voters a choice.
“I am confident that voters can trust me to take care of them as I have spent a long time working for them.
“The first problem that I will work on is the traffic jams around the island,” Mr Chayot said.
Voting by the public is on April 7.