VOTE-BUYING: Money on offer in 24 Bangkok districts

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Pathumwan, Dusit, Rajathewi, Bang Kae worst affected, city poll shows

Voters in 24 of Bangkok’s 37 constituencies, representing 64.9 per cent of the voters in the capital city, said they had been offered money to vote for certain candidates, a city poll revealed yesterday.

Separately, bookies in the capital city are said to be extending their work into the late hours as more gamblers are expected to come out at the last minute to put their money on the outcome of this general election.

While the bets take on many categories, many appeared to be betting on whether one particular party could accumulate at least 28 out of the 37 seats in Bangkok.

According to the poll, alleged vote-buying occurred mostly in Constituency 5, covering Pathumwan and Rajathewi, followed by Constituency 2 in Dusit and Constituency 36 in Bang Kae, the poll by the Bangkok University said.

In constituencies where money was offered, 60.5 per cent of the voters said they would vote for candidates who had not tried to bribe them and 39.5 per cent said they would vote for the candidates who had given them money.

In the party-list system, 63.2 per cent of the voters said they would vote for candidates from party that had not tried to bribe them, and 36.8 per cent said they would vote for the parties that had.

Of the total, 83.6 per cent said they would vote for candidates in the constituency system who belonged to parties they would vote for in the party-list system, and 16.4 per cent said they would vote for candidates from different parties.

Vote-buying is typically carried out the night before the polls, known locally as the “night of the howling dogs”.

Regardless of the money involved, over 90 per cent of eligible Bangkok voters said they would go to the polls today.

Of the total, 92.1 per cent said they would go to the polls, 4.1 per cent said they would not go, and 3.8 per cent said they were not sure. Compared to a similar poll conducted on January 20-23, the number of people intending to vote had increased by 11 per cent.

The poll was conducted on 2,420 eligible voters across Bangkok, 44.8 per cent of whom were male.

Metropolitan Police Bureau Commissioner Lt-General Pansiri Prapawat said over a thousand police officers had been deployed to man polling stations today. Anti-riot police have been placed on 24-hour alert to deal with emergencies as they occur.

Police expect fierce election competition in the districts of Don Muang, Yannawa, Bangkolaem and Thon Buri, where police have been ordered to be on the lookout for illegal activities and violence.

Published on February 06, 2005

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