Academics liken senate election to a lucky dip

Academics have expressed concern that the election of the new Senate, by only allowing senatorial candidates to elect from among themselves, will be similar to drawing from a lucky dip, with senators having no connections whatsoever with the people.

They also allege that the unprecedented and strange model being used for the Senatorial election was designed in such a way as to allow politicians to “buy” the senate seats.

Speaking at a seminar, at the Pridi Banomyong Institute, Associate Professor Prajak Kongkirati, of Thammasat University, said that the election method is the first of its kind in the world, is unfair and causes public confusion, adding that the senators will not represent the people.

The only way to prevent politicians from having influence over the senators is for more people to apply for Senate candidacy, said Prajak.

Former deputy prime minister and member of the Pheu Thai party, Chaturon Chaisang, said that the election will see nominees of political parties and big businesses being elected to the Senate.

He suggested that the Election Commission (EC) ease election regulations, to allow candidates to talk to the media and to publicise themselves.
3,407 people collected application forms for Senate candidacy on May 10th and 11th. Candidates must belong to one of the 20 eligible professional groups.

Registration of candidacy is from May 20th-24th. The first round of district-level elections will take place on June 9th. The second, provincial-level round, is expected to be held on June 16th, with the final national level expected on June 26th.

The final result of the election is expected to be announced by the EC on July 2nd.


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