The election of tambon administrative organisation (TAO) chiefs and members went quite smoothly on Sunday, through suspected vote buying were reported in five provinces, the Royal Thai Police said on Monday.
No violence were reported in the lead-up to the polls, which were held nationwide on Sunday, even in constituencies where rival candidates competed neck-to-neck, deputy national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapat said.
But Pol Gen Damrongsak noted that there were seven alleged incidences of vote buying reported in Chon Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Phetchaburi, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Chiang Rai.
Other violations of local election rules — which include taking photographs of ticked ballot papers and vandalism of campaign posters — were reported in 21 provinces, he added.
In total, 12,309 candidates ran for the position of TAO chiefs and 123,941 for TAO member seats across 5,300 TAOs, 382 of which were fiercely fought.
Pol Gen Damrongsak said that in one incident, a canvasser in Chon Buri was arrested while carrying 112,000 baht in 56 envelopes which authorities suspected were going to be used to buy votes for the TAO race in Mab Pong.
EC chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong said a total of 268 poll violations were filed with the agency.
Separately, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha thanked the public for making the effort to turn up and vote for their local TAO chairs and members on Sunday, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.
Many constituencies saw a turnout of between 70-80%, said Mr Thanakorn, adding it showed more people are actively participating in the nation’s politics.Internet Explorer Channel Network