Guidelines to pick next BOT chief being finalised

The governor selection committee of the Bank of Thailand will today finalise details of the selection process, which could open the window for applications from qualified individuals.

Sompol Kiatpaibul, chairman of the Stock Exchange of Thailand and a member of the selection committee, said yesterday that the process should be permanently in place for the next governor's selection.

"The point to be discussed is if we should open the race to all, or should invitations be issued to qualified persons. It's likely that we could implement both options," Sompol said.

Sompol insisted yesterday that there was no move to specify the qualifications of the next governor, saying the selection committee had not yet approached any individuals.

According to Sompol, an issue being discussed is whether candidates must first resign from any current posts and whether it should precede the official appointment. He noted that if candidates left their current jobs and eventually failed to win the race, it would be a loss of opportunity. This issue will be discussed in the next meeting, he said.

He said that he believed the list of candidates would be completed by the end of June. As required by law, the committee must submit the names of at least two candidates to the Finance Minister, who needs to complete the qualification review within 30 days before the end of the current governor's term.

Current BOT governor Tarisa Watanagase will end her fouryear term in September.

Under the Bank of Thailand Act, the central bank governor is required to possess extensive knowledge and experience in economics or banking. He or she must be younger than 60 years old on the nomination date. Former political appointees or members of political parties can be nominated if they have been out of their political positions for at least a year.

Tarisa earlier said she hoped the next governor would "honour the integrity" of the office and not succumb to pressure.

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