Large number of active and retired military and police officers in new Senate
The new Senate, which was officially announced today, contains a significant number of active and retired military and police officers, accounting for 40.8 percent of the of the 250 senators.
A Royal Command endorsing the 250 senators was published in the Royal Gazette on Tuesday.
Active and retired army officers account for the largest single group in the Senate, numbering a total of 70. There are 12 each from the police and the navy and eight representing the air force.
The list of the new senators reads like a club of family members and friends. For instance, General Preecha Chan-o-cha, younger brother of Prime Minister Prayut, Admiral Sitthawat Wongsuwan, the younger brother of Deputy Prime Minister Prawit, Mr. Som Jatusripitak, the elder brother of Deputy Prime Minister Somkid and Air Vice Marshal Chalermchai Krea-ngarm, the younger brother of Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu.
Retired police officers, who used to work with the NCPO, were also appointed senators. They are Pol Lt-Gen Chitti Rodbangyang, Pol Gen Detnarong Sutthicharnchancha and Pol Lt-Gen Sommai Kongwisaisook.
Former cabinet ministers among the list are former Deputy Prime Minister Chatchai Sarikulya, former Education Minister Admiral Narong Pipatanasai, former PM’s Office Minister Panadda Diskul and former Tourism and Sports Minister Veerasak Kuosurat.
The term of office of senators is five years.
The 250 senators came from three sources:
- 194 handpicked by the National Council for Peace and Order from 400 individuals selected by the selection committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan from people considered as competent and resourceful
- 50 from ten professional groups who elected among themselves and shortlisted to 200 with only 50 of them handpicked by the NCPO
- 6 are ex-officio senators who include the supreme commander, the commanders of the three armed forces, the defence permanent secretary and the national police chief.