Voters are going to the polls today (Wednesday) in Nakhon Pathom's Constituency 5 by-election, in what is billed as a popularity contest between the Government and Opposition.

Three candidates are contesting a seat vacated by Mrs. Jumpit Chantharakachorn of the Future Forward party, who resigned due to illness caused by a road accident. The candidates are Surachai Anutthato of the Democrat party, veteran politician Padermchai Sasomsap of Chart Thai Pattana party and Future Forward party's Pairatchote Chantharakachorn, Mrs. Jumpit's husband.

Mrs. Jumpit received over 30,000 votes in the March 24th general election, beating the runner-up by more than 10,000.

Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has been actively campaigning for his candidate, whom he is confident will win, hoping that such a win will create a domino effect that will put the Opposition into the Government House.

There are 143,221 eligible voters in Constituency 5 and 193 polling units. 109,038 voters actually voted in the general election, with 4,770 votes declared invalid.

The provincial election director, Ms. Boonruen Thaiwattanatham, said this morning that the voting at most polling units was going smoothly, with the exception of some units where five complaints of poll irregularities have, so far, been lodged with election officials.

She said she expects 70% of eligible voters at most to cast their ballots, compared to 76% in the March 24th election.

All polling units are due to close at 5pm and she anticipates initial polling results to be available around midnight.

It is reported that Thanathorn will observe the count at Wat Tha Pood School in Tambon Rai Khing, Sam Phran district, at 5pm today.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

By tladmin