BMA expects 600-700k first-time voters for governor poll

BMA expects 600-700k first-time voters for governor poll

There will be 600,000-700,00 first-time voters accounting for 16% of all eligible voters in the May 22 Bangkok governor election, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

The first-time voters are among 4,374,131 eligible voters in the capital which has a registered population of 5,523,676, said Deputy City Clerk Chalermpol Chotnuchit.

The May 22 poll will set the stage for both the Bangkok governor and city council elections. City Hall will be in charge of organising the voting.

Candidacy registration will open on Thursday at City Hall 2 office and carry on until Monday. The timeline was announced after the cabinet approved the Bangkok governor and city council elections to go head on that date.

Mr Chalermpol said the BMA was fully ready to arrange the last local polls to be held before the government's term expires in March next year.

More than 300 city officials have been recruited and familiarised with the candidacy registration procedures and related laws. All necessary equipment has also been put in place.

In keeping with the Covid-free setting measures, individuals may each only be accompanied by one assistant to the candidacy registration venue. Maximum public health screening will be made compulsory at the venue.

In total, there will be 6,862 polling stations with Covid-free setting measures to be implemented in screening.

Samran Tanpanich, the election director for Bangkok, said no formal complaint has been filed with City Hall regarding campaign posters that are allowed to be put up in public places from March 25 to May 21.

His comment came after recently resigned Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang was rebuked for erecting his campaign posters which obstructed a pavement.

Gen Aswin, who has pledged to enter the race for the governorship, was among the first candidates-to-be who put up the posters, which are legally permitted to appear in public places from March 25 -- the day the May 22 election day was officially announced -- until May 21.

On his Facebook page, Pol Gen Aswin apologised for the posters and promised to fix the problem.

So far, several high-profile individuals have made known their intention to run for the governorship. They are Chadchart Sittipunt, Suchatvee Suwansawat, Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, Sakoltee Phattiyakul, Sqn Ldr Sita Divari, Rosana Tositrakul and Pol Gen Aswin.

Mr Suchatvee is contesting on the Democrat Party's ticket while Mr Wiroj represents the Move Forward Party (MFP) and Sqn Ldr Sita the Thai Srang Thai Party (TST).

The rest are running as independents.

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