The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the draft decree for election to the Senate. The law is expected to come into effect next month and the 250 senators should be finalised by late April.
Government Spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said that the list of all Senate candidates, except the six who would be chosen ex-officio, should be presented to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to choose from by February 9, 15 days before the MP election takes place on February 24.
The NCPO would have 60 days to deliberate on the candidates before making the final decision, he said.
Besides military top brass taking Senate seats ex-officio, 244 others would come from two sources during the first five years, Sansern explained.
He said 50 senators would come from elections at three levels – district, provincial and national. The Election Commission (EC) would present the names of 200 finalists for the NCPO to choose from. Besides the 50 successful candidates, 50 others would be selected as a reserve in case of an emergency, according to the spokesman.
The EC had said it would nominate the candidates by January 2 although the deadline was set for February, Sansern said.
A junta-appointed selection committee would select the other 194 senators by February 9, he added.
The NCPO would complete the selection process in April, the spokesman said.