THE INCOMING election commissioners are set to choose their president in a vote today, despite questions about the legality of the move as two spots on the panel remain unfilled.
The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) earlier this month approved only five members for the EC, leaving the panel with two vacancies.
The two frontrunners are former judge Chatchai Chanpraisri and former provincial governor Tawatchai Terdphaothai.
With his judicial background, Chatchai is considered able to lead the electoral agency. Tawatchai has had extensive experience in helping organise elections as a governor.
A candidate winning at least three votes would become the EC’s president.
Only after the president is selected can the list of incoming EC commissioners be submitted for Royal endorsement. After that, the NLA would proceed to select the final two candidates to fill the vacant seats.
Meanwhile, Ongart Klampaiboon, among other critics, has argued that the selection of a panel president should occur only after all seats have been filled to avoid future questions. This would also allow all members to decide together who would take the lead, he said. Although first filling the empty two seats would delay the process, Ongart said it would not affect the EC’s work because the outgoing commissioners were still in place as caretakers.