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Kathu election halted by court order

PHUKET: The election for a new Kathu Mayor, scheduled to be held on Sunday (Mar 19), has been suspended by court order.

By The Phuket News

Friday 17 March 2023, 06:42PM

The announcement was made by Dechakorn Kaenmuang, Election Director at Kathu Municipality, earlier today (Mar 17).

The election was called after years-long incumbent Chai-anan Suthikul was summarily dismissed from office by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew in late January following an investigation into allowing a private operator to pump water from a lagoon at the Tin Mine Museum in Kathu.

In his notice issued today, Mr Dechakorn explained that the Phuket Administrative Court had in its hearing of Black Case No. 17/2566 on Wednesday (Mar 15) had deemed that the office of Kathu Mayor was not vacant until the court had completed its proceedings

“The enforcement of Phuket Provincial Order No. 439/2560 dated January 20, 2023 and and Phuket Provincial Order No. 440/2560 dated January 20, 2023 have been temporarily rescinded, therefore resulting in the Phuket Provincial Orders temporarily ceasing to be in force pending the proceedings of the Phuket Administrative Court and the post of Mayor of Kathu is considered to not yet be vacant,” Mr Dechakorn wrote.

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“Therefore, I would like to announce the suspension of the election on Sunday, March 19, 2023 temporarily until the court orders otherwise,” Mr Dechakorn added.

The matter will be raised with the Phuket office of the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT Phuket) to determine guidelines and to ensure compliance with legal regulations, Mr Dechakorn noted.

As an aside, with the election now suspended there will no longer be a ban on the sale of alcohol throughout the Tambon Kathu constituency as was previously required in accordance with election law.

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Kamala Pete | 18 March 2023 - 10:05:21

Interesting legal point - can a regional governor "dismiss" an elected official? If the post is deemed "not yet vacant" then perhaps not!! 


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