“The Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) at each municipality will now act as the temporary municipal chief in place of mayors,” PEC Director-General Passakon Siripakayapon told The Phuket News today (Feb 1).
“The other officers can work normally,” he added.
All previous mayors and councillors can start legally campaigning for re-election from today, Mr Passakon also said.
“They all can run their campaign right now, but they must make a record of their campaign expenses to later present to PEC officers,” he added.
Candidates will be able to register to contest the election from next Monday, Mr Passakorn also confirmed.
Candidates must register at the municipality office for the area where they are running for election, Mr Passakorn explained.
“We will open for registration next week, from Feb 8 to 12. Each mayor and council candidate must present themselves, present the required documents, and pay the registration fee to the PEC officers at municipality offices,” he explained.
The fees for registering as a candidate vary according to whether the candidate is running for election as a councillor or as a mayor.
It also depends on whether the municipality is classified as a tessabaan nakhon (city), tessabaan mueang (town) or tessabaan tambon (area).
Phuket is home to 12 municipalities, with Phuket City Municipality the only tessabaan nakhon on the island.
Kathu Municipality and Patong Municipality are the only tessabaan mueang in Phuket.
The remaining municipalities in Phuket – Rawai, Rassada, Wichit, Chalong, Thepkrasattri, Karon, Srisoonthorn, Pa Khlok and Cherng Talay – are all tessabaan tambon.
To register as a candidate to be elected as a councillor costs B5,000 for tessabaan nakhon, B3,000 for tessabaan mueang and B2,000 for tessabaan tambon.
To register as a candidate to be elected as a mayor costs B10,000 for tessabaan nakhon, B8,000 for tessabaan mueang and B5,000 for tessabaan tambon.
The PEC is now driving an education and information campaign to instruct local officials of the requirements to be held by law in conducting an election.
“Now we are having meetings with PEC officers, relevant officers and the candidates in each municipality. All the meetings will be held within this week,” Mr Passakorn said.
Of note, in accordance with election law, a ban on the sale of alcohol will be in place in all areas holding an election from 6pm the day before the election through to 6pm on the day of the election itself.