SAMUT PRAKAN: The ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) is set to retain a seat in the House of Representatives after Krungsiwilai Suthinphueak won the most votes in the by-election in constituency 5 of this lower Central province, which saw a low turnout on Sunday.
The unofficial tally announced at 10pm had Mr Krungsiwilai well in the lead with 46,747 votes, followed by Salinthip Sukwat of the Pheu Thai Party with 21,540 votes; Issarawut Na Nan of the Move Forward Party with 19,977 votes; Mana Boonnak of the Seri Ruam Thai Party with 8,905 votes; and, Warawut Thimmuang of the Paradonraphab Party with 513 votes.
The official result has yet to be announced by the Election Commission.
The Supreme Court ordered a by-election in constituency 5 after Mr Krungsiwilai was yellow-carded for vote-buying. He was not barred from running in the by-election.
The turnout was 58.20%.
Of the 177,308 eligible voters, 103,194 (58%) cast their ballots, of which 97,682 (94.6%) were declared valid, 2,203 (2.1%) invalid, and 3,309 (3.2%) were "no votes".
Complaints of irregularities were filed, according to police.
At polling station No.37 at moo 10 in tambon Bang Bo of Bang Bo district, a polling official was alleged to have illegally removed a ballot box from a designated voting cubicle. An investigation found the official removed the ballot box for use by eligible voters found to have a high temperature, as instructed by the EC, to prevent them possibly spreading a fever to other voters.
There was a complaint of vote-buying at polling station No.11 in tambon Bang Bo. Officials at the polling station explained that the cash handout seen was the payment of an allowance to students who were working there as their assistants, not an act of vote-buying.
There was also a complaint that transport was arranged to take some eligible voters to polling station No.13 in tambon Bang Phli Noy in Bang Bo district. No evidence was presented to support the complaint.