The PEC received the order from the Election Commission of Thailand in Bangkok on Monday (May 27), PEC Director Nutthawat Wongitsaraphap explained this afternoon.
“The Phuket office of the Election Commission (PEC) must coordinate with local authorities to prepare election equipment such as ballot boxes, polling booths and other equipment that is required for holding elections, which must be ready for use from Sep 1, 2019 onwards,” he said.
“Tomorrow, I will send a formal notice to all 19 local authorities in Phuket – which comprise nine municipalities, nine Tambon Administration Organisations (OrBorTor) and the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) – instructing them to prepare and check the election equipment they have and report back to me by June 7,” Mr Nutthawat said.
“Then I will gather all the information and report to the ECT in Bangkok by June 15,” he added.
“After that, we have to wait for official he announcement declaring when the local elections are to be held,” Mr Nutthawat said.
The ECT in April made public the seven distinct acts incorporating changes to local election laws, paving the way for local elections to be held nationwide, including in Phuket. (See story here.)
At that time, Mr Nutthawat explained to The Phuket News that the new laws included a raft of changes, including that successful candidates cannot hold the office of Mayor or OrBorTor Chief for more than two consecutive terms.
Previously, successfully candidates could be re-elected to office indefinitely.
Other changes to local election laws included that each village used to have two representatives on the local OrBorTor council, instead of only one, and that mayors or OrBorTor chiefs previously had to be at least 30 years old. Now they must be at least 35 years old.
The conditions for the PEC organising local elections has also changed, Mr Nutthawat explained.
Previously, the PEC had to organise and coordinate local elections themselves, now they can hand over the operational aspects of holding local elections to a committee or third party.
Meanwhile, each local election will by law invoke a 24-hour ban on the sale of alcohol from 6pm on the day before the election until 6pm on the day of the election, in accordance with Section 147 of the Organic Act on the Election Commission, B.E. 2018. (See story here.)