11 July 2024

Selection of senators, who will play a key role in shaping post-election Thai political future, began today with candidates in all 876 districts across the country selecting among themselves in their respective districts for preliminary lists of candidates to be moved up to provincial level for the second round of selection.

There has been a lukewarm response to the senator selection process which saw only 7,210 candidates representing 10 occupational groups nation-wide.

In Bangkok, Sathorn and Pom Prab districts do not have a single candidate whereas in Prawet, Bang Plad and Bung Gum districts, candidates have to select among themselves to move up to the provincial level. In districts where the number of candidates is below the target, they automatically move up to the second stage of selection.

The results of the district-level selection were expected to be known later today and lists of successfully candidates would be sent to the EC the same evening.

Candidates who passed the district-level selection today will report to their respective districts on Wednesday to receive official documents from election officials to move to the next stage of selection at the provincial level on December 22.
The provincial-level selection of senatorial posts will be held at the Thai-Japanese sports stadium in Din Daeng by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

Candidates who pass the provincial-level election among themselves will be shortlisted to 200 to be sent to the National Council for Peace and Order who will select 50 of them to become senators, with another 50 to be put on reserves.

On top of that, the NCPO will handpick another 194 senators from 400 candidates selected by the junta-appointed selection committee, with six other ex-officio senators who are the supreme commander, the commanders of the three armed forces, the national police chief and the defence permanent secretary.

The entire senatorial selection process will be completed within April 27 after which a full list of 250 senators will be forwarded to His Majesty the King for Royal approval.

The term of the senators is five years. Besides legislative work, the Senate will have the power to impeach political office-holders and members of independent organizations. But for the first five years, senators will also have a say in appointing prime minister and hold the executive branch accountable in implementing the NCPO-initiated 20-year national strategy.