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Two more candidates enter senatorial race

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Two more candidates enter senatorial race | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Two local lawyers have registered to run in the March 2 senatorial election, bringing the final number of candidates in Phuket to three.

The second candidate is Adirak Engchuan. The 46-year-old Phuket native, who holds a law degree from Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok, registered his candidacy Thursday morning.

The final candidate to register was Cherdchai Wongseree, 47, who arrived at Phuket Community Hall just before the deadline yesterday afternoon.

Both men were also candidates in the April 19, 2007 senatorial race that was won convincingly by Thanyarat “Gee” Achariyachai, a former Juvenile Court judge who has already registered as a candidate in the March 2 election.

K. Thanyarat, however, was not sworn in as Phuket’s first female Senator because the upper house did not convene before the military coup of September 19, 2006.

In that election, K. Thanyarat garnered 34,142 votes compared with 6,419 votes for K. Cherdchai, who ranked fifth in that poll, and 752 votes for K. Adirek, who ranked ninth.

Nationally, there are 505 candidates contesting 76 elected senate seats in the March 2 poll.

The most hotly contested seat is Bangkok, where 35 candidates will canvass for a single seat. In sharp contrast, only one candidate registered for the senatorial election in Phang Nga, the only province where a candidate will run unopposed.

The Thai News Agency (TNA) has reported that the Bank of Thailand (BoT) has ordered all financial institutions to report on financial transactions of senatorial candidates to the Election Commission (EC) in an attempt to thwart “irregularities” in the contest.

Krirk Vanikkul, assistant governor of BoT’s Financial Institutions Policy Group, said the central bank had sent letters to all financial institutions ordering them to report on transactions by candidates, as required by the EC.

The aim is to enable the EC to monitor expenses paid by candidates while contesting the election, TNA reported.

The new upper house will comprise 150 senators. Of these, 76 will be elected to represent individual provinces. The remaining 74 will be selected from 1,080 candidates nominated by different groups appointed by the EC.

The seven-member selection panel is composed of the chiefs of independent bodies, including the EC chairman, the president of the Supreme Court and the Auditor General, TNA reported.

 

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