Home Thailand Pattaya

Pattaya City Council Reformed after Gov’t Fills 12 Vacant Seats

Pattaya City Hall Thailand Chonburi

Pattaya has a working city council again.

After initially refusing to appoint replacements for the 12 councilmen who resigned in recent years, the government acquiesced to the installment of 12 temporary members.

Newly appointed were Sittiporn Kruitnak, Pisut Amornyuth, former City Manager Wuthipol Charoenpol, navy Adm. Banjob Phodang, former Pattaya Social Development Department head Somchai Sirorat, Wittawat Kuprasert, Chonburi Attractions Association President Titipat Siranatsrikul, Pattaya Business & Tourism Association President Boonanan Pattanasin and Apichart Sirisit.

Reappointed were former councilmen Wasan Naoniew and Choluek Chotekamjorn, who quit in August, and former councilman and Banglamung District junta chief Gen. Popeanan Luengpanuwat, who had resigned earlier.

Sittiporn was elected chairman of the council.

The 11 new men and one woman join existing members Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn, former president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association and Thanat Supharuehatrangsri, chairman of the Chonburi Tourism Industry Council, former Chairman Anan Angkanawisai,  and Srivisut Rodarun.

Those four were the only ones left after a bitter debate over a 200-million-baht contract for closed-circuit TV cameras prompted Chakorn Kanjawattana, Saksit Yaemsri, Wasan and Choluek to quit on the spot.

No Pattaya council members have ever faced a public vote. The previous council was appointed in 2016 by the junta that overthrew the Yingluck Shinawatra government in 2014.

Five years of attrition left the city council with only six members when the panel met Aug. 12. After the resignation of the four members following the CCTV furor, the remaining four were unable to form a quorum. By law, the council was disbanded automatically.

Anan, Thanet and Sinchai agreed to stay on as caretakers and oversee ongoing projects.

Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome sent a letter to Chonburi’s governor asking for either new members to be appointment or a special election called. It was rejected and Pattaya’s anticipated election this winter was postponed indefinitely by the central government.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who appointed ally Sonthaya as mayor, now has named a new council, again  stacked with current and fromer military and police.

The new members and Sonthaya paid respect and prayed for good fortune Nov. 5 at city hall’s King Taksin monument.

Chonburi Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai, who signed and backdated the appointment to Oct. 29, said he’d like the now-whole council to brainstorm, make decisions and rebuild Pattaya.

The original version of this story appears in the Pattaya Mail, a Bangkok Herald partner.