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What does it take to win an election in Phuket?

What does it take to win an election in Phuket?

Phuket last month saw its first President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) elected in six years. But voter turnout was very low, and a winner announced. Here, the chief of the Phuket office of the Election Commission of Thailand explains how.

politics
By The Phuket News

Sunday 3 January 2021, 11:00AM


Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

QUESTION

I am curious what is required for an election to be held as valid in Thailand.

In the recent election for the President of Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor), Rewat Areerob won with 83,144 votes. Jirayut Songyot came second with 50,914 votes and Sorawut Palimapunt came third with 20,073 votes.

The total number of eligible voters was given as 294,141 – but only 172,709 presented themselves at the 496 polling stations across the island to actually cast their votes. That was given as a voter turnout of only 58.72%.

Even then, a total of 10,690 of those who presented themselves at the polling stations did not cast a ballot. A further 5,388 votes were marked as spoiled ballots.

What is the minimum number of votes required for the election to be valid? And how many votes does a candidate need to be declared the winner?

From the numbers given, Mr Rewat has been declared the winner of the election with  83,144 votes – even though 121,432 eligible voters did not even turn up to cast a vote, and a further 10,690 who did turn up chose to not cast a vote at all.

That’s a total 132,122 people who did not vote, but we have a winner with 83,144 votes.

I am just looking to understand how this is possible.

– TC, Chalong

Outrigger Laguna Phuket

ANSWER

According to the election law, for any election where there is more than one candidate there is no minimum number of votes that need to be cast in order for the election to remain valid.

As there were five candidates in the recent PPAO election, there was no minimum number of votes required for the election to be valid.

However, if there is only one candidate in an election, the candidate must secure more votes than 10% of the number of eligible voters in the province and must secure more votes than the number of people who presented themselves at the polling stations but did not cast a ballot.

In the PPAO presidential election, Mr Rewat secured 83,144 votes, which is more than any of the votes that the other candidates received. Hence, he has been declared the winner.

Mr Rewat’s official first day in office has still yet to be confirmed as we have sent our results to the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) main headquarters in Bangkok for confirmation.

Successful candidates usually take office within 30 days of the ECT confirming the election results.

We have received a few official complaints about the election result. Those complaints have also been passed on to the ECT in Bangkok. They will advise us whether we need to take further action investigating the complaints.

– Passakon Siripakayapon, Director, Phuket office of the Election Commission of Thailand (PEC)

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Kurt | 03 January 2021 - 12:03:44

'Winner':  83,144 votes
Total non voters: 132,122, of which 121,432 not even turned up.
Those seem not to be impressed to be punished now with not being able to be election candidate in future.  :-)  I understand now why not voting is 'illegal', but not being punished.
Anyway, it is country wise not to punish many illegal things.

 

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