Delayed Local Elections Expose Failure in Decentralization

My piece for Thai Enquirer:

Last week, the voters of Kaohsiung, Taiwan voted to throw out their mayor. The disgraced politician, Han Kuo-yu, had just earlier this year been on the presidential ballot. Now he has the dubious honour of being the first local official to be recalled in Taiwan history. 

Given the depth of anger at Han, who was accused of neglecting his duties while campaigning for president, it was no surprise that he was destined to lose his office. But in Thailand, to recall a local official one dislikes is a novel concept.

Indeed, people can hardly even keep provincial governors they do like. Narongsak Osottanakorn, the Chiang Rai governor who was elevated to hero status after the 2018 cave rescue, was unceremoniously transferred to Phayao province afterwards. The people of Chiang Rai were, of course, not consulted; this was a decision made from Bangkok. 

Click here to read the full piece.

(Cover image credits.)






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