Sanook published ten rules to be followed for the upcoming general election on March 24th. Rule Number 7 refers to one that many foreigners living in Thailand will be familiar with:
There is no alcohol to be sold from 6pm on Saturday 23rd to 6pm on election day. (This ban is also in place from 6pm on 16th to 6pm 17th March. Pre-voting will take place on the 17th for those unable to vote in their home provinces).
Here are the nine other “Don’ts” some of which may be news to the foreign community. Penalties where mentioned are also included. These may be more severe if the person committing the offence is a candidate or the party itself.
- No polls are allowed in the seven days leading up to the election. Penalty 3 months jail/6,000 baht.
- No vote buying. One to 10 years/20,000 – 200,000 baht fines.
- No foreigners helping with the election. Only Thais allowed. One to 10 years/20,000 – 200,000 baht fines.
- No state officials to show partiality. One to 10 years/20,000 – 200,000 baht fines.
- No people to be prevented from voting. One to 10 years/20,000 – 200,000 baht fines.
- No deliberate damage to ballot papers. 5 years/100,000 baht fines.
- Alcohol ban.
- No betting on the result. 1-5 years/20,000-100,000 baht (up to 10 years, 200,000 for parties themselves)
- No electioneering from 6 pm on 23rd to midnight on 24th. 6,000 – 10,000 baht fines.
- No mention of the Royal Family, no leafleting, no bad language, no payments related to cultural activities.