Dry weekend again as Thais vote for senate Sunday

Friday, 28 March 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 13 By  Urasin Khantaraphan

Another dry weekend is on tap for Pattaya as Thais go to the polls again to vote for a new senate.

Sales of alcohol will be prohibited from 6 p.m. Saturday. March 29 through midnight Sunday, March 30, with virtually all bars and entertainment venues shuttered.

About 95,000 Pattaya residents were registered to go to the polls last weekend - another alcohol-free event - for early voting, but the turnout was scant with some of the polling stations seeing no visitors at all.

Vying for a single senate seat in Sunday’s polls, are Saengsorn Sunthornsilpachai, 62, a public administration graduate; Kampol Tangekachai, 43, a Ph.D. in business administration; Somchai Pattanaanek, 58, a medical graduate; former police Maj. Col. Banthit Khunajak, 63; and Vichai Jullawanitpong, 52, a Mahidol University medical graduate.

A sixth candidate, Surasit Nitiwuthiworarak, initially was disqualified, but petitioned the Supreme Court, which restored his candidacy before the advanced-voting.

The Pattaya area will have 219 voting stations, with 184,393 district residents eligible to vote from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The responsibilities of a senator include screening laws, kingdom governance through debates with ministers; open debates with the cabinet; appointing, providing advise or approval for an individual to take a position such as constitutional court judge, election commission, state audit commission, and/or the national anti-corruption commission; and removal of individuals from positions.

Note: Election laws of municipalities (year) 2482 (1939), amended 2523 (1980), section 12CH states: “...as of 18:00 hours on the day before the election until the end of the day of the election, it is forbidden for anyone to sell, distribute, give away alcohol or have parties or social events that have alcohol served...” Section 76 states: “...whoever breaks this law is subject to a fine of no more than 10,000 baht or jail of no more than 1 year or both...”

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