The previous politician and renowned massage-parlor entrepreneur asserts that political parties are allocating between 1,000 and 3,000 baht per person, with the specific amount varying based on the province.
For example, the highest expenditure is expected to occur in the southern regions of the country. In Phuket, it is anticipated that a staggering 3,000 baht will be disbursed per person in exchange for their votes.
“This election is set to mark a new record in the total amount of money used for vote-buying in Thailand’s political landscape,” he proclaimed. Additionally, village volunteers are expected to play a pivotal role in this process, serving as intermediaries between local residents and chief election campaign organizers, ultimately becoming the ones to distribute the funds.
Chuwit estimates that the entire process of vote-buying will unfold in four distinct phases, which are as follows:
1. An initial payment of 300-500 baht will be made to residents, along with an assurance that the remaining balance will be settled on the day of the election.
2. To entice villagers to participate in election rallies, an additional 100-300 baht per person will be disbursed as an incentive.
3. For attending larger, more significant rallies, villagers will receive a sum of 300-500 baht per person.
4. Lastly, village volunteers will prepare a comprehensive list of eligible voters who stand to receive the final payout of 1,000-3,000 baht.
These estimations are particularly noteworthy considering the source of the information: a former politician and once-prominent massage-parlor mogul. While not a conventional expert in election analysis, his unique insight into the inner workings of Thailand’s political structure provides a compelling reason to give his predictions credence. As such, the forthcoming election is expected to be an event of significant importance, with the financial component promising to make a considerable impact on the outcome.
This lavish spending on vote-buying raises important questions about the future of democracy in Thailand and poses potential challenges to the country’s political stability. By leveraging financial power to secure votes, political parties undermine the fundamental principles of a democratic system and contribute to a growing sense of distrust among the population. Furthermore, this trend highlights a pervasive concern in the broader context of modern elections: the increasing role of money in influencing, and potentially corrupting, the democratic process.
Overall, as Thailand gears up for its upcoming election, a record-breaking amount of funds are anticipated to be spent on securing votes. Although this phenomenon is not entirely new, it has reached unprecedented levels in this election cycle, prompting critical discussions about the role of money in shaping the country’s political landscape. While the exact implications of this trend remain unclear, one thing is certain: the upcoming election is poised to be a historic moment for Thailand and its democracy.