EC chief rejects claim of 149 candidates ‘chosen’ to win Senate race

MONDAY, JUNE 03, 2024

Chief commissioner says no discrepancies in senatorial election, as critics say allegation only meant to rock the boat

Election Commission chairman Ittiporn Boonprakong cast doubts on outgoing Senator Somchai Swangkarn’s claim that at least 149 senatorial candidates are “designated” to win the final round of election.
“I don’t think so,” Ittiporn said when reporters approached him on Monday for a response to Somchai’s Facebook post.
Somchai was among the 250 senators appointed by the junta after the 2014 coup. The senators’ tenure ended on May 10 but they remain working as acting members of the upper House until the 200 new senators are elected.

On Sunday, Somchai claimed in a Facebook post that a list of 149 candidates shortlisted at the district and provincial levels and awaiting the national round was shared in a Line group of the 250 outgoing senators.
Somchai, however, did not explain how this was possible or where the list came from. The senator’s repeated attacks on the integrity of the ongoing senatorial election have sparked criticism that he wants to rock the boat so that the current Senate can remain.
“I hereby confirm that we have no problem leaving office,” Somchai said.

When asked to respond to Somchai’s allegation, Ittiporn said he has not received any reports on the allegation but will have the EC Office look into it.
The EC Office announced last week that 46,206 candidates have been found qualified to join the senatorial race.
The law requires the election to be held at three levels – district, provincial and national. Voting at the district level will be held on June 9, at the provincial level on June 16 and at the national level on June 26. Results are due to be announced on July 2.
Ittiporn said all preparations have been made for the district-level voting.