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Storm Threat Looms Over Thailand’s Election Day – Will Democracy Be Drenched and Disrupted?

Thailand is bracing for the potential impact of two storms next week, with concerns that they may affect the crucial Election Day, scheduled for May 14. The Climate Change and Disaster Centre at Rangsit University has issued the information regarding the upcoming weather conditions.

Cyclone Mocha is currently producing heavy rainfall in the Bay of Bengal, while another tropical depression is forming in the South China Sea near the Philippines, according to the center’s director, Seri Suparatit. The impact of these two storms is expected to be felt in Thailand starting from May 9. Additionally, heat and a low-pressure trough will also contribute to thunderstorms beginning on May 8 in central, eastern, northeastern, and northern regions of the country.

In a recent Facebook post, Seri Suparatit highlighted a 30% chance of thunderstorms, especially in the South, on Election Day, May 14. The presence of heavy rainfall on the day could result in considerable damage to ballot papers, candidate information, polling booths, and ballot boxes, as well as cause traffic disruptions.

Considering the potential threats posed by the storms, Seri Suparatit has suggested that the Election Commission (EC) make arrangements for indoor locations to prevent any inconveniences on Election Day. “We still have a week, I would suggest the EC arrange indoor locations to prevent inconvenience on Election Day,” he wrote.

Moreover, Seri Suparatit noted that a week of rainfall at the beginning of the rainy season would provide relief to drought-stricken farmers. In light of this, he recommended that provincial administrative organizations across the country accelerate the construction of water retention areas and inspect dams and channels to store rainfall for later use, following the end of the rainy season.

As Thailand prepares for the upcoming elections amidst the looming threat of storms, it remains critical that the necessary precautions are taken to ensure the smooth functioning of the electoral process. With the possibility of severe weather disturbances, it is essential for relevant authorities to develop contingency plans and adopt proactive measures to address any challenges that may arise due to the adverse conditions.

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