PHUKET: Patong Mayor Pian Keesin said today that he would fight on despite a likely court ruling invalidating his election.
He said he will await a court decision following a finding by the Electoral Commission of Thailand that irregularities will nullify last year's mayoral election result.
If the court backs the Electoral Commission's finding, as seems likely, Mayor Keesin says that he will stand for mayor again in a subsequent election.
But that will be his last election, the mayor told Phuketwan
Discrepancies found by a Phuket investigation and passed on to the national Electoral Commission include a large number of voters who used the same address.
A letter to Patong Council on August 8 confirmed that the national Electoral Commission had supported the findings of the Phuket Electoral Office.
''I'll accept what the court says,'' Mayor Keesin said today. ''I have no problem with that.''
At the age of 70, he said, any election that followed the court's decision would probably be his last.
He has no intention, he said, of encouraging his children to go into politics when he gives politics away.
What Patong needed, he said, was ''big government support for education.''
The other important issue was safety and security, and the equipment to make sure it could be achieved.
''Be honest'' with your customers should be the message, he said.
Government seminars were needed to improve the skills of private business, government officers, teachers, lifeguards, jet-ski operators and tuk-tuk and taxi drivers, he said.
Phuket had a very broad community consisting of tourists and people from other provinces and countries, often with the same objectives as residents in terms of safety and security.
''Everybody comes here to seek jobs, and to make money,'' he said.
He downplayed the present investigation led by the Department of Special Investigation, saying that Phuket was ''a very small problem.''
He wondered why they weren't spending more time resolving the big issues, ''like the Deep South.''
''The environment should also be protected not just in Patong but across Phuket,'' he added.
Mayor Pian, a force in local politics since 1994, won the poll in early September 2012 with 4352 votes. Rival candidate Kittisan Kuru and his Patong Kawna (Patong Development) group attracted 3154 votes.