The alcohol ban is required under election laws, Phuket Election Commission (PEC) Director-General Passakon Siripakayapon said today (Dec 14).
“So are the COVID-19 protection measures. People at the polling stations will be required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing,” he added.
“Bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues are not ordered to close,” Mr Passakon said.
“They can close, that is up to them – but the sale of alcohol is prohibited. Remember, the penalty is up to six months in prison or a fine up to B10,000, or both,” he added.
The consumption of alcohol at private homes is allowed, as long as no alcohol is sold, he added.
“Please do not break the law. If any one sees this behaviour, inform the police by calling 191 or send photos and/or a video with information to us via our Facebook page,” Mr Passakorn said.
Mr Passakon urged all eligible voters to turn out and make their votes count this Sunday, as every province in the country elects its own Provincial Administration Organisation (PAO) – meaning the ban on the sale of alcohol will be nationwide.
There will be 496 polling stations across the island open from 8am to 5pm, he noted.
Voting is compulsory in Thailand. However, there is no fine for not voting, but people must submit an official reason for not voting or stand to lose up to six citizen’s rights.
Unlike with national elections, there has been no advance voting.
This year the number of polling stations has been increased from 390 set up for the last local election held six years ago to reduce the number of people visiting each venue as part of the COVID-19 protection measures.
The extra efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has doubled the budget required in Phuket to hold the election to B26 million.
Registration for election candidates closed on Nov 6, with five candidates entering the race to be elected Phuket PAO President, including popular local politicians Jirayut Songyot of the Khon Baan Rao Party, Rewat Areerob of the Phuket Yatdai Party and Sorawut Palimapunt of the Phuket Progressive Movement Party.
In total, 77 people registered their candidacy for being elected to the PPAO Council.
Incumbent PPAO Acting Chief Mr Watcharin has already announced that he will not register his candidacy to contest the position of PPAO President in the upcoming PPAO election.
“So please come to exercise your rights, as people have not voted in any local elections for six years. It is a Thai democratic right to vote,” Mr Passakorn said.