PAO elections are here

 | Mon 2 Nov 2020 14:26 ICT

The Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) was filled with people this morning, as today is the first day for contenders to register their application for the position of President of the PAO in the upcoming election.

Sitting president Boonlert Buranupakorn, from the Chiang Mai Kunnatum party and Pichai Lertpongsadisorn, from the Phua Thai party both arrived before registration hours which meant that they had to draw for their numbers. Pichai taking the number 1 while Boonlert took number 2. At the same time all candidate hopefuls from both parties also came to the PAO offices in order to apply for their candidacy for the Provincial Councilors, representing 42 election areas in 25 districts. Each group also arrived with its own team of adoring fans and cheerleaders, making for an exciting and energising morning.

Boonlert Buranupakorn who you can read about in this Citylife interview is not only a career politician, but comes from a dynasty with a long, powerful and often controversial, pedigree of political leadership in Chiang Mai.

Boonlert, 60, graduated from Montfort College before attaining his Bachelors and Masters at Chiang Mai University in Business Management and Political Science. He entered politics in 1999 as Council Member of the Municipality (during the two-term tenure of mayor of his now-deceased brother Pakorn Buranupakorn) before being elected mayor of Chiang Mai city himself. He has had a few obstacles in his career, resigning once as mayor from internal conflicts before being reelected, as well as being investigated and removed from his position of Chair of PAO by the Election Commission before being reinstated by the Fifth Region Court in 2009.

He was elected as president of PAO, the most powerful position in the province of Chiang Mai, for two terms.

CityNews’s knowledge of the PAO contender, Pichai, is limited, but we intend to find out more about him. We do know that he was a member of the senate. These are the only two contenders for this election, though the deadline for applications is open until the 6th of November.

The actual election date will be held on the 20th of December 2020. Expect to see billboards and posters and much political activity from now until then.