EC to respect court Senate race ruling
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EC to respect court Senate race ruling

Move lifts curbs on public introduction

Sawang Boonmee
Sawang Boonmee

The Election Commission (EC) has decided not to appeal a Central Administrative Court ruling on a regulation which prohibits Senate election candidates from releasing their profile to the public.

Sawang Boonmee, EC secretary-general, on Monday affirmed the commission will not appeal within 30 days as legally allowed, and that Senate election regulations have been amended to reflect the court ruling with immediate effect.

Last week, the Central Administrative Court told the EC to drop part of its regulation which prevents senator candidates from publicly disclosing details of their personal and career backgrounds in social media platforms and mass media outlets.

Before the ruling, Senate candidates were barred from introducing themselves through social media and mass media. They were limited to giving out details about themselves to intra-and inter-professional groups who will vote among candidates at the district, provincial and national levels.

The EC came under a lot of pressure not to appeal the ruling, with a number of candidates -- Narakorn Tiyayon, Dr Pairoj Sawangtrkul, Chollanat Koykul, Thirachart Kortrakul and Thaweep Wanichhanont -- urging the commission to let the Central Administrative Court ruling stand.

District-level voting will take place on June 9, provincial-level voting on June 16 and national voting on June 26.

The results of the election, which would see 200 senators picked from 20 professional groups, are expected to be announced on July 2.

On Monday, Ms Narakorn said no restrictions must be imposed on how candidates introduce themselves to the public, adding people must also have unrestricted access to information about candidates.

Ms Narakorn said the EC should designate district voting venues at convenient locations, and the public must be allowed to observe the vote.

Meanwhile, Mr Thirachart called the restrictions on public introductions impractical since a lot of information about candidates is available online anyway.

He noted the restrictive rule might be the reason for the low number of candidates for the Senate election.

In total, 48,117 people applied as senator candidates during the five-day registration period, according to EC figures.

The poll agency had expected up to 100,000 people would sign up for the election.

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