Cabinet gives nod to polls in city, Pattaya

Cabinet gives nod to polls in city, Pattaya

Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang
Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang

The cabinet has greenlighted both the Bangkok governor election and the Pattaya City mayor and member polls with dates likely set for May 29, according to a source close to the matter.

The weekly cabinet meeting approved on Tuesday the Interior Ministry's request for the elections to be organised.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the Election Commission (EC) was making plans for the polls. He also said he expected they would take place in May.

The EC, which is tasked with enforcing the Elections of Local Administrative Members and Executives Act, will now decide when election candidates will be registered as well as the schedule of the election.

After the dates are confirmed by the EC, they will be acknowledged by the cabinet before being published in the Royal Gazette. The elections will then be organised within 60 days of the dates' publication in the Gazette, according to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

Mr Wissanu, the cabinet's legal expert, said Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang may wait until the election date is announced before resigning as governor to seek a second term in office.

Pol Gen Aswin said he would not quit until a new governor is found. If he runs, it would be as an independent, he said.

In a break with tradition in which Bangkok governors are elected, Pol Gen Aswin was appointed to City Hall's top post by the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order on Oct 18, 2016.

Before that, he served as a deputy under his predecessor, MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra.

The gubernatorial and Pattaya City elections are the last local polls to be held before the current government's tenure ends in March next year.

Pol Gen Aswin said he signed a document endorsing the resignation of Sakoltee Phattiyakul as his deputy on Monday. Mr Sakoltee declared he would run as an independent for the Bangkok governorship.

Mr Sakoltee is the latest to announce his bid, after independent Chadchart Sittipunt, the Democrat Party's Suchatvee Suwansawat and the Move Forward Party's Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn.

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