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Pattaya Vote Count on Hold After Ballot Sheets Go Missing

Pattaya Ruam Jai leader Niran Wattanasartsathorn casts his ballot Sunday. Missing ballot sheets at two stations halted vote counting Sunday.
Pattaya Ruam Jai leader Niran Wattanasartsathorn casts his ballot Sunday. Missing ballot sheets at two stations halted vote counting Sunday.

Unofficial results of Pattaya’s mayoral and city council elections have been withdrawn while officials investigate ballot sheets that went missing from two city polling stations and other irregularities.

Pattaya City Manager Pramote Tubtim said Monday that a ballot sheet for the council election was mistakenly issued to an ineligible voter.

Pramote said the sheet snafu will leave Pattaya City Hall unable to announce the total vote tally for both mayor and city council until an investigation is completed.

Pramote said that station No. 2 in the first constituency and No. 20 in the fourth constituency each reported a missing set of ballot sheets for the mayoral race. Poll stations No. 29 in the second constituency and No. 5 in the third constituency extra received an extra set for the council election and one of those gave a sheet to an ineligible voter.

The city manager, who was tasked with organizing the election, said the issue was reported to the Election Commission. Until a ruling is made on how to proceed, the official vote count is on hold.

As of Sunday night, Poramet Ngampichet of the Rao Rak Pattaya group garnered 14,161 votes with the Pattaya Ruam Jai group’s Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn winning 12,336 votes. The Move Forward Praty’s Kittisak “Bob” Ninwattanatochai placed third with 8,713 votes while former Banglamung District chief and independent candidate Sakchai Taengho garnering 995 votes.