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Changing Local Elite Selection in Thailand; Emergence of New Local Government Presidents after Direct Elections and Their Capabilities

Discussion Papers

No.411

March 2013

ABSTRACT

Before rural local government units were established in Thailand, reform debates within the country faced a crucial issue: Candidates at the rural sub-district levels might adopt electioneering methods such as vote buying and the patronage system of the local political and economic elite, the methods that had been used in the national elections. In fact, the results of the 2006 survey in this paper, which followed the introduction of direct elections in rural local government units in 2003, contrast with the result anticipated during the debates on political reform. The preliminary data of the survey shows that the decentralization process and the introduction of the direct election system in the rural areas had some effect in changing the selection process of the local elite in Thailand.



Keywords: local government, direct election, education, social class
JEL classification: I2, N4, N9

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