Pattaya residents went to the polls, braving hot weather to cast ballots in the first unfettered general election in eight years.
Polling stations across the area were busy from morning until they closed at 5 p.m.
Voter Nopparat Mekkluen said she got to the voting booths set up at Nong Or Temple early because she wanted to avoid the noon-time sun. Pairoj Prawatlertudom, chairman of the National Police Board at Banglamung Police Station, also turned up early, saying he wanted to cast a ballot for the people he thinks would work best for the country.
Resident Somdet Sansuktaveesub also was there early, saying he had expected more people than normal to cast ballots. As it turned out, voter turnout across the country fell far below expectations at just 66 percent, down from 80% in the previous week’s early voting.
Actress and model Urassaya “Yaya” Sperbund brought some star power to the voting at Pattaya School No. 8. She posed for photos and interviews after casting her vote, saying she wanted to see everyone come out to the polls.
So many people made their way to polls at Pattaya School No. 7 that Sukhumvit Road came to a standstill as voters made their way to there.
For many people, this was the first opportunity to cast votes since 2011, or ever. While polls did open in Pattaya in 2014, the general election that year was invalidated as voting was never completed in many locations around the country due to political protests.