About 1,000 area business leaders and residents protested outside the Chonburi Provincial Hall, demanding the reinstatement of Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai, who was suspended following accusations by other residents that he bungled the province’s royal cremation ceremony.
Leading the Dec. 8 demonstration was Saroj Wasuwanit, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, Kampol Tansajja, director of Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Sutorn Thanawattanakul, director of the Chonburi Chamber of Commerce, and leading Pattaya entertainment-venue owners.
They presented a petition to Deputy Gov. Phawat Lertmukhda that asks the Interior Ministry to transfer Pakarathorn back to Chonburi. The governor was ordered to remain at the Prime Minister’s Office for three months starting Nov. 7.
Pakarathorn landed in the hot seat after another group of residents complained to the central government that he mishandled the sandalwood flower-laying ceremony Oct. 26 and that he treated mourners badly.
The Interior Ministry initially asked he be transferred to Samut Prakan, but the Cabinet rejected the request, instead banishing him to the PM’s Office to “assist work” there without losing his governorship – the Thai equivalent of a suspension.
Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda told the media in November that the transfer was “a matter of suitability”.