Thailand's Election Commission validates senators-elect
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Thailand's Election Commission validates senators-elect

A candidate for the Senate expresses joy at a polling station in Bang Kapi district of Bangkok after hearing she passed the first round of the Senate election on June 9. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A candidate for the Senate expresses joy at a polling station in Bang Kapi district of Bangkok after hearing she passed the first round of the Senate election on June 9. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The Election Commission on Wednesday validated 200 senators-elect and 99 other candidates in a substitution list.

The commission started its meeting at 9am to discuss the validation. The closed-door meeting ended at 2.30pm.

A source said the meeting resolved to confirm the election of 200 candidates and approved a list of 99 other candidates as possible substitutes.

Earlier, election commissioners had different stances on the validation amid numerous complaints about the senate election and its rules. Critics said many candidates did not vote for themselves although they could do so, and many senators-elect seemed to have a connection with some political party.

The EC was expected to validate Senate election results last week but it did not do so, saying it was considering complaints.

The three-stage Senate election was concluded on June 26 when 2,989 candidates entered the national-level election, during which they voted for their favourite candidates in Nonthaburi province.

The new Senate will comprise 200 members from 20 professions and succeed the 250 military junta-appointed senators whose term expired on May 10.

Unlike their predecessors, new senators will not be empowered to elect a prime minister. They will continue to take part in the passage of legislation and the amendment of laws and the constitution. Also, senators will appoint members of independent organisations and check the performance of the executive government.

EC secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee told a press conference on Wednesday evening that the election was fair and the EC decided to confirm the election results as soon as possible so that the new Senate could begin work.

Senators-elect could receive written certificates at the parliament on Thursday and Friday, he said.

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