Itthiphol wins reelection in landslide

Friday, 22 June 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 25 By  Phasakorn Channgam

Mayor-elect’s Rao Rak Pattaya council slate also elected

Itthiphol Kunplome won re-election for a second term as Pattaya’s mayor, carrying his entire 24-candidate Rao Rak Pattaya slate for city council into office with him.

Itthiphol defeated three independent candidates in the June 17 poll, collecting an unofficial 21,446 votes compared to 2,187 votes for Udomsak Chuenkhrut, 1,615 for Su-ainee Piendee, and just 316 for Suphakit Suneerattanakul.

Newly reelected Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome casts his vote at the 12th election unit in Region 2, Central Pattaya. Newly reelected Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome casts his vote at the 12th election unit in Region 2, Central Pattaya.

Voter turnout was low as just over 41 percent of the 69,205 eligible voters cast their ballots, possibly due in part to heavy rain the previous day. Some of the 28,723 who did vote expressed some confusion over a new voting district format, which split the city into four zones, each of which elects six city council members. Election Commission officials were on hand around the city to clear up any issues.

Itthiphol cast his ballot at the Nong Orr Monk Association around 10 a.m. with a crowd of well-wishers and media watching. Polls closed at 3 p.m. with the Election Commission counting votes from 90 polling station at Pattaya School No. 2.

When ballots were tallied, the full Rao Rak Pattaya slate, comprised mostly of city council members seeking re-election, came in first.

The party’s District 1 slate of Acting Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon, former city council members Banlue Kullavanijaya, Jidapa Suwattaporn, Thatchai Supspornpasuphat, Anupong Bhudanawarut, Urit Nantasurasak, and new candidate Vichet Nongyai captured between 5,318 and 6,335 votes each.

The independent candidates vying against the establishment slate - Sompng Iempinyo, Punya Pornmanusorn, and Manoch Kijthumcharoen - garnered only 3,106, 906 and 410 votes respectively.

In District 2, Rao Rak Pattaya’s slate of Acting Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn, previous city council members Rattanachai Sutidechanai, Farooq Wongborisuthi, Manoch Nongyai, Morakot Noohuang; and new candidates Ithiwat Wattanasartsathorn and Yuwida Jeerapan attracted 2,412-2,782 votes each.

Independent candidates Samart Silarae and Chaichaoren Saeheng collected 237 and 464 votes, respectively.

In District 3, Rao Rak’s slate of Acting Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, former city council members Vichai Rodpia, Visalya Phettrakul, Nakhon Phonlookin, Chanansa  Sutthithamrongsawat, Sanit Boonmachai; and new candidates Banjong Banthoonprayuk won between 3,957 and 4,469 votes each.

The Saerichon Pattaya Party’s three District 3 candidates - Thanes Khruakhun, Thennosapol Ekklang and Nopananth Kruaviset - won between 603 and 804 votes each. Independent Sawek Meeprasertsak attracted 480 votes.

In District 4, Rao Rak’s slate of Acting Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay, and former city council members Tavich Chaiswangwong, Phansak Saengchan, Praiwan Arromchuen, Thongchai Ardzong, Amnuai Somphongtham and Choosak Sriwatjanapong secured 4,937 and 5,903 votes. The only independent candidate, Chanaporn Bumrungsamraan, attracted just 557 votes.

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