Local Government in Phuket
Phuket is Thailand’s only island province and is also the country’s smallest province in terms of area.
Phuket City is the administrative centre though it is still commonly referred to as “Phuket Town”. It was given city status in 2004 when it was upgraded to a thesaban nakhon. Phuket is administered at a provincial level by a governor and provincial council or OrBorJor, the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO).
The island is divided into three administrative districts or amphoe; Thalang, to the north, Kathu to the west and Muang in the south. These amphoe are then subdivided into 17 subdistricts or tambon. These are administered differently according to their municipal or thesaban status.
There are three levels or municipalities on the island, city or thesaban nakhon, town or thesaban muang, and subdistrict or thesaban tambon. The capital, Phuket City, is the only city on the island, while Patong and Kathu have town or thesaban muang status. There are six subdistricts with subdistrict municipalities which are: Cherngtalay, Karon, Rassada, Rawai, Thepkasatree and Vichit. The remaining subdistricts are administered by their respective tambon administrative organisations (TAO) or OrBorTor.
The provincial governor is appointed by the central government in Bangkok while the PPAO council members and president are elected. At municipal level all mayors, presidents and councils are elected. Local government elections generally follow a 4-year cycle.
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