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Pricing a vote

THAILAND: Nationwide vote-buying is rampant, with the average price of a vote in the central provinces being higher than in other regions, a university survey has revealed.

Friday 1 July 2011, 04:54AM

Director of the Suan Dusit Poll of the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, Sukhum Chaloeysap, said the vote-buying problem was far worse than in previous elections.

Vote-buying happens in three phases including a period before the candidate registration, during the official election campaign, and in the final stages of the race, he said.

In the first phase, vote-buying was aimed at boosting the popularity of the political parties and the average price was B300 per vote.

In the second phase, the vote price averaged B200 per voter per candidate, he said.

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In the third phase the price started from B500 and currently the average price of a vote had risen to B1,500 the central region constituencies, Mr Sukhum said.

The vote price in other regions started from B300 to B1,200, he said, adding the current average price in these regions was B1,200.

“The price was particularly high in a constituency where candidates from a small party were struggling hard to win over a leading candidate from a large party,” he said. In the south, the most serious vote-buying appeared to be in the three southern-most provinces, he said.

Election Commissioner Sodsri Satayathum challenged Mr Sukhum to disclose the sources of information obtained by the Suan Dusit Poll if the results were to believed.


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