Unofficial results of Chumphon, Songkhla by-elections expected by 10pm
The unofficial results of a by-election in Chumphon and Songkhla should be released by around 10pm on Sunday, Election Commission (EC) chairman Itthiporn Boonprakong said while overseeing ballot preparations in Chumphon on Saturday.
He said every sector was cooperating on tightening measures to prevent election fraud.
The by-elections are being held in Chumphon’s Constituency 1 and Songkhla’s Constituency 6 to find replacements for Democrat veterans Chumpol Julsai and Thaworn Senneam, who were stripped of their MP status.
“Chumphon’s governor has instructed officials to refrain from violating election laws, while the chief of police in Chumphon has set up checkpoints,” he said.
“Once the ballot box closes at 5pm [on Sunday], officials at the polling station will check and start counting votes.”
He expects the votes to be counted by 7pm and an official result released by 10pm.
Itthiporn went to say that though there are no complaints related to the by-election in Chumphon, the EC is reviewing grievances filed against ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) secretary-general Thammanat Prompao’s speech in Songkhla.
Move Forward Party candidate Thiwach Damkaew has accused Thammanat of promising to give money to people in trouble in his campaign speech. Thammanat was campaigning for PPRP candidate Anukul Prueksanusakthe.
The EC chief said election inspectors and police officers have not reported any cases of vote-buying yet and warned voters and candidates to avoid violating election laws.
“If people see any signs of vote-buying, they can inform the EC or report via the ‘Ta Sapparot’ [pineapple eyes] smartphone app so the commission can take action. Witnesses will be protected and given an award,” he said.
Itthiporn added that the Supreme Court is scheduled to look into vote-buying allegations against PPRP MP Wattana Sittiwang in Lampang.