Phuket gears up for unique senator selection process

Photo courtesy of Phuket News

Phuket prepares for senatorial selection with Governor Sophon Suwannarat at the helm.

Phuket’s approach to selecting its next senator takes an unorthodox turn, as the process described in official notices by the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) Phuket oddly employs the term elected for what is essentially an appointment. The process, outlined in the Royal Gazette on May 13, allows individuals from any of 20 civil society groups to apply to be part of the senatorial selection.

Governor Sophon will lead the provincial selection committee, a crucial component of this selection process. The committee is set to oversee applications from May 20 to 24, with the last day for announcing the list of candidates scheduled for May 29. The election days at the district, provincial, and national levels are planned for June 9, 16, and 26 respectively, with the final announcement of Senate election results expected in July, though no specific date has been given.

Applications for candidacy are to be received at the respective district offices within Phuket, with the Mueang Phuket District Office, the Kathu District Office, and the Thalang District Office becoming focal points for submissions. Each district boasts its selection committee, comprised of local officials and experts, tasked with managing the process at the district level.

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The selection committees across the districts share a common structure but feature diverse members. For instance, the Mueang Phuket District Committee includes District Chief Worasit Putjeeb as Chairman and a mix of other community leaders, reported Phuket News.

Similarly, the Kathu District’s committee is led by District Chief Theeraphong Chuaychu and the Thalang District’s all-male committee is chaired by District Chief Pairoj Srilamul.

In related news, the air is thick with suspicion in Thailand’s political arena as experts cast doubts on the upcoming senatorial election. Associate Professor Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, a voice from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Law, raised concerns about potential manipulation and delays in the voting results during a panel discussion organised by the Thai Journalists Association.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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