Thailand’s EC investigates potential senator election manipulation

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Election Commission (EC) of Thailand is currently probing into claims of potential manipulation in the upcoming senator election process. The EC has cautioned potential candidates about registering with a questionable website.

The EC indicated that the act of encouraging individuals to form groups for the Senate election competition could be a breach of election laws. Consequently, they have initiated an investigation into the alleged infractions.

Furthermore, the EC has warned potential candidates about sharing personal information and political viewpoints on websites, inclusive of social media platforms.

This announcement from the EC comes on the heels of grievances that Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the head of the Progressive Movement, allegedly attempted to exploit Thailand’s new system for electing 200 senators. These new senators are set to replace the current junta-appointed ones, whose terms are due to end on May 10.

Thanathorn, who previously led the now-disbanded Future Forward Party, recently urged his followers to become Senate election candidates. He expressed concern that without new candidates, individuals close to the existing government would be chosen, leading to a potential detriment to democracy.

He expressed a desire for approximately 100,000 individuals to each pay an application fee of 2,500 baht, to become representatives in the new Upper House. The nation is set to elect senators from 20 professional groups.

Website investigation

Thanathorn also launched a website,, for candidates who align with the same progressive ideology. He suggested the platform could serve as a networking tool for potential candidates ahead of the election.

As of 3pm yesterday, the website had registered 1,278 individuals, according to Thanathorn.

The EC statement revealed that election investigators are currently gathering facts and relevant data about the aforementioned website. If the findings suggest that the site is in violation of election law, legal proceedings will follow.

As per the 2017 charter, the new Senate will consist of 200 members, who will not be directly elected by the public. Applicants will vote amongst themselves over multiple rounds to eventually select 10 senators from each of the 20 eligible groups. A reserve list of five candidates for each group will also be maintained.

The candidate application process is set to commence on May 13. The elections at district, provincial, and national levels are slated for June 9, 16, and 26 respectively, with the results to be announced on July 2, reported Bangkok Post.

It is anticipated that approximately 100,000 individuals will participate in the Senate poll.

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

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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