The 3 successful Phuket candidates from the Move Forward Party say that one of their first objectives will be pushing for the right to have the provincial governor elected locally. Under the current system, Phuket’s governor is appointed by the central government, the same situation in all 76 Thai provinces (Bangkok has elections for its Governor).
The Move Forward Party has been unofficially declared the winner of Sunday’s general election, ahead of official confirmation by the Election Commission (which could take up to 2 months). The Move Forward Phuket candidates were successful in winning all 3 constituencies on the island.
According to a Phuket Express report, Chalermpong Saengdee, the winning candidate in Constituency 2, says it’s now a priority to change how the island’s governor is appointed. Phuket, per capita, contributes more to the central government’s coffers than any other province in Thailand.
“The first thing we will do for change is to have an election for Phuket Governor instead of the normal selection from the government. We want to push Phuket into forward development with peace and harmony. Phuket is a paradise island which is the Pearl of the Andaman.”
Constituency 2 comprises Wichit, Chalong, Rawai, Karon, Patong and Kamala, while the Phuket Town sub-districts of Talad Yai and Talad Neua, Koh Kaew, and Ratsada make up Constituency 1, which was won by Move Forward’s Somchart Techathavorncharoen.
Thitikan Thitipruekthikul, also from the Move Forward Party, was the winning candidate in Constituency 3, which comprises the northern district of Thalang and the sub-district of Kathu. He says another issue up for discussion is that of cannabis legislation (or lack thereof).
“According to the leader of the Move Forward Party, Pita Limjaroenrat, we want cannabis to return to being an illegal narcotic drug first. This is to prevent importing/smuggling from foreign sellers and other issues, essentially allowing us to start from scratch with marijuana and implement logical policies slowly.”
“After that, we will relieve little by little, which will mainly focus on medical purposes. Recreational use will have to wait. This will be relieved when it can be better controlled.”
However, attempts to recriminalise the drug may be met with fierce opposition. Countless suppliers that popped up across the island are currently flourishing amid a legal vacuum that has existed since cannabis was decriminalised by the outgoing administration in June last year.
SOURCE: The Phuket Express