The date for the election of Thailand’s Mayors is yet to be announced, although the indications are that this will take place in early 2021.
Although official nominations for the positions cannot be made until the election date is formally announced, at least one candidate, Mr Udorn Olsson, has announced his intention to run for the position of Hua Hin Mayor.
This will be the first such election since suspensions were first imposed by the NCPO July 2014. Then in May 2016 it was announced that provincial governors would be allowed to appoint local council members in the event that a council is dissolved.
In June this year, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kruea-ngarm announced that local elections would have to be delayed because funds originally allocated to them had been expended on the pandemic response. However with a growing community discontent about these delays, elections seem assured for the near future.
We understand that normally a Mayor cannot serve for more than two consecutive four year terms. However because of the election suspensions, incumbent mayors may stand in the next elections, regardless of how long they have been in office. The first four year term after next election will begin a new ‘eight year cycle’.
Mr Udorn Olsson is the first announced candidate for the position of Hua Hin Mayor. His is currently both an Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Transport and the Managing Director/CEO of Para Development Co. Ltd/ This is a Hua Hin based property development company perhaps best known for the Panorama Pool Villa projects and more recently a venture located close by the Black Mountain called the Golf Inn Condominium Resort.
Should his candidacy be successful, Mr Olsson says his connections and access to the country’s national political leaders and decision makers can bring important benefits to the Hua Hin community He has long been a member of the Palang Pracharath Party, the party led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Although it’s too early for his complete election platform to be disclosed, Mr Olsson has foreshadowed some of the priority issues he wants to address and has begun working with an election support committee.
Mr Olsson says following up the Hua Hin airport rejuvenation is an essential priority and a real opportunity to ‘kick start’ Hua Hin tourism and ‘open the door’ to become one of Thailand’s better known international tourism destinations. He is also well aware that Hua Hin currently has a very low profile on the international stage and wants a major upgrade of destination marketing strategies.
One of the important environmental issues facing Hua Hin is that of waste disposal with the city’s ongoing dependence on landfill as an unsustainable practice which Mr Olsson says he is determined to tackle.
Although the dual track rail project is destined to deliver significant benefits to the community, Mr Olsson has been involved in discussions with many of the less fortunate who have become displaced and homeless due to essential land reclamation. He wants these families to have access to redress and a chance to enjoy a secure future.
Despite members of the foreign population not being on the electoral roll, Mr Olsson wants them to have a voice and aims to achieve that by way of an foreign residents’ advisory committee. The limited communication between various agencies and the foreign population of Hua Hin has long been a problem. Whether that be information about events, official policies, changes in regulations or an ability for individuals to make constructive suggestions, a solution to this an issue would certainly be welcomed.
Our thanks to Mr Olsson for his time and forthright comments; all in perfect English! The Royal Coast Review does not endorse or favour political candidates; however we will always welcome the opportunity to introduce these important people to our readers.
“I will try to improve my town for my people to make Hua Hin the City of Happiness”
Udorn Olsson – Hua Hin Mayoral candidate