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6+ Years After Coup, Thailand to Hold Local Elections

Thailand Polling Election Station Booth Vote

More than a year after democracy was supposedly restored to Thailand – at least in name – government authorities who overthrew the last unrigged election six years ago finally will allow Thais to vote for local officials.

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal by the Election Commission to hold Provincial Administration Organization elections.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told reporters after the meeting that the Cabinet made the decision that PAO elections would be held within 60 days.

The election date and timeline for the procedures should be announced by the EC, he said.

Local elections at different levels have been delayed for many reasons, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prayut said it was his government policy to resume local elections with other levels including village administration organizations and municipality to gradually follow.

Gubernatorial election of Bangkok, which is a special administrative area and a very competitive race, is also expected to be held soon.

On Oct. 5, Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka sought public support for his demand f Bangkok elections to be held quickly, accusing the incumbent governor – not a member of the military backed ruling party as he is – of failing to solve problems.

The MP from the Palang Pracharath Party said he launched a campaign “to oust Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang” via change.org and invited people to support it.

He said he needed at least 50,000 people to support the campaign aimed at asking Prayut to have the Bangkok gubernatorial election to replace Aswin. Of course, Aswin could decide to run again and could win, which would really bum out Sira if the city election isn’t rigged.

The story includes reporting from the Thai News Agency