In an unprecedented turn of events following the historically tight election on May 14, 2023, which saw a record voter turnout, Khritsada Sifah, the runner-up in the District 2 elections, filed a formal complaint of electoral irregularities at the Phang Nga Province Election Commission Office in Mueang Phang Nga at 10 a.m. Sifah, candidate No. 4 for the Pheu Thai Party, lost by a mere 109 votes — the narrowest margin in the history of Phang Nga elections.
Sifah, backed by his legal team, raised allegations of electoral misconduct and presented supporting evidence. His stance rallied constituents across four districts, who gathered in solidarity, demanding a rerun of the polls.
Accompanied by his legal team, Sifah presented evidence alleging electoral misconduct. This bold move drew support from constituents across four districts, who gathered in solidarity. Protests bearing signs that read “Phang Nga Doesn’t Want 500,” “New Elections,” and “District 2 Vote Again,” amplified the call for a fresh election in District 2.
Sifah had to urge his supporters to stop pressuring the Election Commission, reassuring them that he and his legal team were handling the situation and already lodged their complaint with the Commission.
Hasbul Lao Su Rattan, head of the investigation team and political party representative of the Phang Nga Election Commission, received the complaint personally. He allowed Sifah and a couple of his legal representatives to negotiate. Promising transparency, integrity, and fairness, Rattan assured them that the Commission would thoroughly examine the claims and evidence according to procedure and timeline.
While addressing his supporters, Sifah reiterated his respect for the voters, acknowledging the over 80,000 individuals who had exercised their voting rights. He stated that he respected every vote from No. 1 to No. 9. However, he would not accept any unfair practices, emphasizing his commitment to a transparent political system for the people of Phang Nga.
According to Sifah, it’s vital to expose whether the irregularities were legitimate mistakes or harmful actions that could damage society. He highlighted that issues of vote-buying and selling had unfortunately become normalized in elections.
“Many have asked me, ‘Will we accept these wrongs as normal in society, or should we make these wrongs the evil of society, something society won’t accept and will correct?’ We will continue to fight together, not for me, but for the right democracy, for the beautiful, pure, and fair politics that will empower Phang Nga in reality,” said Khritsada Sifah.