Senate election rules lag bodes complication, warns MP


Opposition Move Forward Party MP Parit Wacharasindhu called on the Election Commission (EC) to speed up the announcement of regulations for the upcoming Senate election.

Parit, who chairs the House panel on political development, mass media and people’s inclusion, said on Wednesday that he was worried that unclear regulations would only result in confusion and complaints. This, he said, would only hold up the election and voting results for 200 new senators.

The tenure of the current 250-member Senate will expire in less than a month, but the EC has yet to announce its regulations for the upcoming senatorial election.

The incumbent 250 senators were appointed by the 2014 coup makers, and they will be replaced by 200 senators through a complicated peer-election system at district, provincial and national levels. The candidates are required to represent 20 professions.

Parit said, at present, there are still doubts about the qualifications of the representatives of the 20 professions. For instance, he said, candidates are still wondering how they will be able to introduce themselves to the public while campaigning for votes.

Among other things the would-be candidates would want to know if they can campaign for promises made to push for charter amendments, Parit said.

He said the longer it takes to announce the regulations, the more restrictive they will become and more problems will occur in the senatorial election.

He said if the resulting problems are large enough for the EC to not endorse the election results, the current Senate will stay in power. He also warned that if the current Senate stays, it will have the power to block charter amendments and appointments of independent organisations’ members.