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Power Play: Unprecedented Decentralization Pledge Shocks Thai Politics – Is This the Key to Unlock Development?

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At 1:30 pm, Pita convened an official meeting with the chief executives of provincial administrative organizations and mayors of municipalities and tambon administrative organizations at the National Municipal Association of Thailand’s head office. Additionally, core members of the Move Forward party, including secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon, participated in the unofficial gathering.

Since winning the May 14th election, Pita has been actively engaging with crucial organizations, primarily private ones, in order to lay the groundwork for his forthcoming government’s policies. However, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha had previously stated that it would be inappropriate for Pita to engage with government agencies until he assumes office.

During the meeting with local administrators, Pita expressed his interest in hearing their suggestions on decentralization of power and charter revisions to enhance local administration authorities. Additionally, he aimed to explore potential revenue streams for local governments by discussing their ideas on possible sources.

Pita also made a notable promise at the meeting: he stated his intention to remove the current limit of two four-year terms for the administrators, allowing voters to decide whether or not to re-elect them for additional terms. Emphasizing the significance of decentralization for development, he asserted that this process should be executed incrementally according to a master plan that includes public input.

Move Forward’s consideration of local administrations and their willingness to listen to the administrators’ perspectives were greatly appreciated by the association’s representatives. Somchai Rangsiwatanasak, the association’s president, congratulated Move Forward on their electoral victory. In return, Pita expressed gratitude to Somchai and other local administrators for participating in the meeting.

Enthusiastically looking forward to collaborating with the local administrators during his first 100 days in office, Pita hoped to achieve a “quick win” in the country’s administration. He also vowed to accelerate the decentralization of power and development initiatives throughout his first year in office.

The meeting was attended by several key figures, including Pol Lt-General Khamronwit Thupkrajang, CEO of the Pathum Thani provincial administrator organization, and Pattaya City Mayor Poramet Ngampichet.

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