THE ELECTION Commission (EC) revealed yesterday that 5,899 Senate candidates had made the cut at the provincial level and the shortlisted names should be announced in nine days.
EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma said yesterday that the commission expected 2,778 candidates to make the cut in the next round this Saturday and will take part in the election at the national level scheduled for December 27.
Only the top 200 will be shortlisted, out of which 50 will be chosen by the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) as required by the Constitution.
The EC also revealed yesterday that initially 7,056 candidates had applied to run at the district level. Of the candidates, 6,551 ran as independents, while 505 had been nominated by professional associations, he said.
Only 1,510 of the candidates are women, the EC said.
Five out of the country’s 77 provinces were short on candidates so all applicants made the cut automatically. Each province is required to have four candidates to compete at the national level.
These provinces are Krabi, Phang Nga, Ranong, Chumpon and Samut Sakhon, the EC said.
Yesterday, Jarunvith encouraged the candidates to be punctual and learn to manage their time well, especially when working at the national level.
Candidates are required to show up at Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi on the last Thursday of the month. Traffic in Nonthaburi is notorious on working days, and those who do not register for voting between 8am and 9am on the date will be disqualified, he said.
However, he added, the organic law governing the Senate election allows candidates to petition against the disqualification.
According to the Constitution, the Senate is comprised of 250 members, but for the first five years, all senators will be picked by the NCPO. These NCPO-chosen senators will have the power to vote for the prime minister alongside elected MPs.