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‘New Normal’ doubles cost of Phuket election

‘New Normal’ doubles cost of Phuket election

PHUKET: The cost of holding the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) election on Dec 20 will be double what is normally required due to the COVID-19 ‘New Normal’ social-distancing requirements.

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By The Phuket News

Wednesday 25 November 2020, 05:09PM


More polling stations will be added to reduce congestion of voters under the COVID-19 ‘New Normal’ measures, PPAO Acting Chief Watcharin Patomwatthanapong announced yesterday (Nov 24).

The PPAO elections to be held throughout the country on Dec 20 will be the first local elections held in Thailand for eight years, since the National Council for Peace Order (NCPO), headed by Army General Prayut Chan-o-cha, took control of the country in May 2014, he said.

“Before this, holding a local election cost about B12-14 million each time, but this year we expect to spend about B26mn as we have to increase the number of polling stations from 370 to 496 in order reduce congestion and allow people to maintain social distancing,” Mr Watcharin said.

“We will have about 600 voters attend each polling station,” he added.

“The almost-doubled budget will be spent on the cost of equipment and hiring staff at each polling station. The central government has already provided the budget to the Phuket office of the Election Commission [PEC] and other relevant officials,” Mr Watcharin explained. 

“The PEC will work with the PPAO, municipalities and local tambon administrations [OrBorTor] to hold training for polling station staff and to publicise information about the election to the public,” he said. 

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“On Dec 20, I want every Phuket resident to use your right to vote for the candidate you like, from 8am to 5pm. Elect a good candidate to develop our island,” he said. 

“Within 15 days after the election results have been announced, the Phuket Governor will meet with the new PPAO president and councilors to vote for the position of Council Chairman. Then, about the middle of January, they will take office,” Mr Watcharin explained.

Registration for election candidates  closed on Nov 6, with five candidates entering the race to be elected PPAO 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.

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Jor12 | 30 November 2020 - 12:44:51

k...you should read more, then you will know and wont be confused or ask the kids playing on the street.

Kurt | 30 November 2020 - 10:10:59

Jor12. State of emergency throughout the whole country. Really? Hm, when I see on thai tv channels at 20:00 hrs the mass protest gatherings and the visits of His Majesty the King to many people on the street at several locations my thoughts are not with emergency decree. I just stick to the thinking of no need for more polling stations on Phuket.

Jor12 | 30 November 2020 - 03:45:20

K perhaps you haven't heard but there is a state of emergency in place throughout the whole country. It is because of these measures that Covid is under control yet there is only one who is complaining about the costly measures implemented because of this state of emergency.  If they weren't put in place you would be complaining about that too?

Kurt | 29 November 2020 - 13:42:13

Last writing about it, Jor12. A double budget for 30% more not needed polling stations is funny, as having present polling stations just 4 more hrs open will be ok.   Preventing spread of a communicative disease.  Is there any Covid-19 on Phuket? Where did you read that Phuket Government publish anything like that?  Careful with not causing panic on Phuket island, and make a few tourists scared.

Jor12 | 29 November 2020 - 04:08:05

k...well no, the article is stating a fact... preventing the spread of a communicative disease. If preventative measures ensures safety, then so be it. Contact your local MP and complain if you don't wish your taxes to be used as such.

Kurt | 28 November 2020 - 13:52:29

Jor12,..'the live of people or money'..? At a bit drama tour you are now?
Officialdom didn't care 8 years about thai 'lives' in this framework. Right?  And about money, you not understood about kick backs? ( 'budget excuse'). Congestion expected? Keep normal number polling station 4 more hours open, no congestion. No need double budget.

Jor12 | 28 November 2020 - 07:54:37

Read the article man..."reduce congestion of voters" What is more important to you. The lives of people or money?

Kurt | 27 November 2020 - 13:27:33

Jor12, by having each polling station 4 more hours open on voting Sunday you spread coming voters, and there will be no congestion of voters.  More polling stations is just a 'budget excuse'. I am sure with algorithms they can find out/confirm that. If they want!

Jor12 | 27 November 2020 - 08:27:03

 Kurt..don't you understand the article.... "reduce congestion of voters"

harald | 26 November 2020 - 23:49:46

funny to see flu is here the reason even since months not even one new case with flu in phuket

Kurt | 26 November 2020 - 09:37:37

If the polling stations are open from 7 AM till 8 PM, than there is no need for more polling stations. Voting will be more spread that Sunday. The 'New Normal' excuse is just to get more budget,  Yummi! This is actual the first 'New Normal' thing on Phuket we read about, but nice for a higher budget .

 

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