Registration for candidates for the positions of mayor and councillors opened at each municipality office across the island yesterday (Feb 8) and will close at 4:30pm on Friday (Feb 12).
Somjai Suwansupana registered to be re-elected as Phuket Town Mayor. Ms Somjai, representing the Khon Noom Party (Young People Party), has been allocated No 1 on the ballot.
Saroj Angkhanaphilas, a former Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) councillor, also registered to contest the seat of Phuket Town Mayor yesterday. Representing the Rak Phuket Party (Love Phuket Party), Mr Saroj has been allocated No 2 on the ballot.
Chalermluck Kebsup yesterday registered for re-election as Patong Mayor. Representing the ‘Patong Fa Mai’ (“Patong New Sky”), Ms Chalermluck has been allocated No 3 on the ballot.
No 2 on the ballot for Patong Mayor is Pakrit Keesin, younger brother to influential Patong businessman Preechawut ‘Prab’ Keesin, representing the Rak Patong Party.
In a return to Patong politics is Chalermsak Maneesri, representing the Patong Palang Mai Party (Patong New Power Party), who has been allocated the highly preferred No 1 position on the ballot.
Mr Chalermsak comes with a chequered history in Patong politics. He was elected mayor of Phuket’s busiest tourism town in November 2002 after his brother Surasak was removed from office by Interior Minister at the time, Purachai Piemsomboon, for election fraud.
Then Mr Chalermsak and his entire 17-member council were themselves dismissed from office for election fraud in November 2003.
Meanwhile, Samran Jindaphon yesterday also registered for re-election as Chalong Mayor. Representing the Chalong Kao Mai Party (Chalong New Step), Mr Samran has been allocated No 1 on the ballot in the Chalong Municipality election.
Independent candidate Somchai Thechathaworncharoen yesterday also registered to contest the seat of Chalong Mayor.
Long-standing previous Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos also registered for re-election, representing the Phattana Rawai Party (Rawai Development Party) with 12 members registering for election as Rawai Municipality councillors.
The Phuket office of the Election Commission of Thailand (PEC) confirmed last Monday (Feb 1) that all mayors and municipal councillors in Phuket had been discharged from their official duties ahead of the municipal election to be held on Mar 28.
“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.
“The other officers can work normally,” he added.
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 (6pm Saturday, Mar 27) through to 6pm on the day of the election itself (6pm Sunday, Mar 28).