Senate elections draw lower than expected candidates
The election timeline is set with the initial district-level voting on June 9, followed by provincial elections on June 16, and concluding with a nationwide vote on June 26.

The Election Commission (EC) has reported that 48,226 individuals registered to run in the upcoming Senate elections during a five-day registration period that ended this past Friday. The number, which was lower than anticipated, aims to fill 200 available Senate seats.

The Department of Provincial Administration has verified that 48,117 of these applicants met all required qualifications. Those whose applications are still pending are undergoing a detailed review, with outcomes expected to be finalized by Wednesday, May 29. An analysis of the applicant pool highlighted a significant imbalance in the representation across the 20 approved professional groups, with seven districts having candidates from only one group and two districts having none at all.



EC Secretary-General Sawaeng Boonmee noted that the Organic Act on the Acquisition of Senators permits the selection of district-level candidates regardless of these imbalances.

The election timeline is set with the initial district-level voting on June 9, followed by provincial elections on June 16, and concluding with a nationwide vote on June 26. The results will be announced on July 2. Sawaeng explained that the election process is designed to maintain high qualification standards and system integrity to prevent registration irregularities, which might have dissuaded some potential candidates.




The EC has also been criticized regarding the Senate race process, especially the high registration fees and restrictive campaign regulations, which have reportedly confused and deterred prospective candidates. In response to legal actions, the Central Administrative Court has recently required the commission to abolish three controversial rules regarding how candidates present themselves during their campaigns.

For transparency and public engagement, the EC has made the list of Senate candidates available via the Smart Vote mobile app, where the public can also report any suspected irregularities, ensuring the fairness of the election process. (NNT)
















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Author: Pattaya Mail