Thailand Will Hold First Post-Coup Senate Election This June

The cabinet on Tuesday approved the Election Commission’s draft decree to begin the election process for a new Senate, replacing the 250-member military-appointed chamber set to conclude its term on May 11, as stated by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

The decree stipulates that candidate applications will open from May 13, with subsequent elections at district, provincial, and national levels scheduled for June 9, June 16, and June 26, respectively. Election results are set to be announced on July 2.

According to the 2017 constitution, the incoming Senate will consist of 200 members who are not directly elected by the general public. Instead, candidates will select among themselves.

The selection process involves 20 distinct professional categories, each offering 10 seats, along with a reserve list of five candidates per category.

An estimated 100,000 individuals are expected to participate in the Senate elections.

The Election Commission has indicated that the current military-appointed Senate will serve until the new Senate is formally confirmed.

In a related development, Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a member of parliament from the United Thai Nation Party, called for vigilant public monitoring of the election process to prevent potential manipulation.

Mr. Thanakorn cited accusations against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Progressive Movement (PM) and former head of the now-dissolved Future Forward Party(FFP), for allegedly encouraging his followers to run in the Senate elections.

He further claimed that Mr. Thanathorn has misrepresented facts regarding the 2017 constitution and the Senate’s role in confirming members of independent public bodies, including the Constitutional Court.

He expressed concerns over Mr. Thanathorn’s purported animosity towards the Constitutional Court, which dissolved the FFP and is currently reviewing a case that could lead to the dissolution of the Move Forward Party, a successor to the FFP.