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The price of buying votes

Earlier this week I wrote about the non-stop racket competing Rayong election candidates were making from dawn to dusk in my village.

At the weekend a Thai friend of mine went to vote and returned Bt1,000 richer for having ticked the right box, or at least the right box in the eyes of the candidate who gave him the money. He told me everyone who followed the candidate's voting instructions received Bt1,000.

My friend's young brother, who is at university in Bangkok, travelled back to Rayong earlier this morning and also voted. Deducting the cost of his return bus fare of Bt340 he still ended up Bt630 the better. Not bad for a day's travel for a struggling young student. But a pity about free and fair elections.

David Brown

Rayong


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