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Election Commission Certifies Thailand’s 200 Senators: Boonmee Ensures Fair Process Amid Allegations

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Election Commission Secretary-General Sawaeng Boonmee at Senate Election Venue

In the bustling Senate election venue at Impact Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi, a poised figure stepped forth – Election Commission Secretary-General Sawaeng Boonmee. It was June 26, the final round of voting, and anticipation hung in the air like a thick fog. Fast forward to Wednesday, Boonmee announced the official certification of the results, bringing closure to a riveting electoral journey. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

As Thailand turns a new chapter with the induction of 200 fresh senators, a media frenzy ensues over the electoral process. These newly minted senators have been summoned to Parliament on Monday, while the Election Commission continues to unravel an intricate web of allegations concerning collusion and improper conduct during the elections. The poll body invited the senators to collect their certificates on Thursday and Friday, signaling a momentous step forward after finally ratifying the results of the three-phase vote that culminated on June 26.

In light of these developments, caretaker senator Somchai Swangkarn remarked that the 250 senators appointed in 2019 by the then military-leaning government should now conclude their tenure, given that the election’s outcomes are now official. The Secretariat of the Senate wasted no time, confirming that the inaugural session of the new upper house would be slated right after the senators report on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission pledged to work hand-in-hand with three key agencies to probe the alleged election rigging. Just two weeks post-election, speculation was rife on Wednesday morning as the poll body convened, hinting at their readiness to validate the unofficial results. At precisely 2:30 PM, confirmation was rolled out, showcasing a comprehensive list of the 200 senators and their 100 backups. Yet, in an unexpected twist, senator-elect Kohdeeyoh Songngam of Group 18 (mass communications and literature) was disqualified post-haste due to her political advisory role, deemed a conflict of interest.

Swiftly, Maj Korapot Runghirunwat was appointed to fill the vacancy, ensuring Group 18 retained its full representation. In an ensuing press conference, EC secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee defended the authenticity of the process, aligning it with Section 42 of the organic law. The commission’s detailed examination encompassed three scrutinized areas: manipulation or fraud, violations observed on voting days, and candidates’ eligibility.

Mr. Sawaeng illuminated the inquiry further, divulging that 47 complaints of election fixing are currently under assessment, spearheaded by collaboration with the Royal Thai Police, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), and the Anti-Money Laundering Office. “We’ve engaged top-tier officers from these agencies for an entire week. The Office of the EC needs to deploy their sophisticated tools to amass requisite evidence,” he elaborated.

The legitimacy of 18 complaints filed about the electoral procedures was brought before the Supreme Court, all of which were dismissed. Three more fell under the EC’s jurisdiction, which opted to gather additional evidence to ensure impartiality for both plaintiffs and defendants, Mr. Sawaeng added.

When it comes to candidates’ qualifications, meticulous scrutiny preempted the voting, with the poll agency rejecting 1,917 applications and disqualifying over 600 more for failing to meet eligibility criteria. Mr. Sawaeng highlighted that the EC is poised to petition the Supreme Court to revoke certain candidates’ rights, should criminal activities be uncovered among those who contested the election despite knowing their ineligibility.

Clearing the air on terminologies, he clarified that terms like “profession” or “occupation” misrepresented the 20 groups in which candidates vied. Instead, the organic law and constitution employed the broader Thai term “dan,” referring to domain, area, or field, promoting inclusivity of diverse backgrounds in the electoral process.

“After navigating these rigorous steps, the EC collectively agreed that the Senate election process was executed with fairness, cleanliness, and legality, leading us to officially endorse the election results,” he concluded with resolute confidence.


  1. Piya July 10, 2024

    The certification of these senators is just a farce! It’s clear there’s deep corruption in the Election Commission.

    • Anong S. July 10, 2024

      That’s a bold statement, Piya. Do you have any proof of this supposed corruption?

      • Boonchai July 10, 2024

        I agree with Piya. Just look at the disqualified candidates and tell me there’s no foul play going on!

      • Piya July 10, 2024

        Exactly, Boonchai! Over 600 disqualifications and 1,917 rejections? It reeks of manipulative tactics to control the Senate.

  2. Somsak July 10, 2024

    It’s about time we had new senators. The 2019 appointments were outdated and unrepresentative of our current needs.

    • Narong July 10, 2024

      True, Somsak. But can we trust that these new senators are any better? The process was shrouded in controversy.

    • Somsak July 10, 2024

      That’s a fair concern, Narong. However, we must hope for the best and hold them accountable going forward.

  3. Chalida July 10, 2024

    The involvement of the EC, Royal Thai Police, and DSI just to validate the elections shows how complex and important this process is.

    • TonyObserver July 10, 2024

      Or it shows how problematic and rampant the issues are that they need such heavy oversight.

  4. Nina July 10, 2024

    Disqualifying Kohdeeyoh Songngam was the right move. Conflicts of interest should not be ignored.

    • Alex B. July 10, 2024

      I disagree, Nina. That disqualification seemed too convenient. Almost like they wanted her out for other reasons.

      • Ratana July 10, 2024

        Alex, the rules are there for a reason. Ignoring conflicts of interest undermines the entire process.

    • Nina July 10, 2024

      Precisely, Ratana. Standards must be maintained. If we start overlooking conflicts, what’s next?

  5. Phanom July 10, 2024

    Boonmee’s assurance of fairness might soothe some, but actions speak louder than words. Let’s see if we get real results.

    • DaoCritic July 10, 2024

      Couldn’t agree more, Phanom. Too many promises, too little delivery in this country’s politics.

  6. Veera July 10, 2024

    I think it’s noteworthy that 47 complaints are under serious investigation. It shows the system isn’t foolproof, but it is transparent.

    • Jabberwocky July 10, 2024

      Veera, transparency means nothing if there’s no follow-up action. Too many investigations lead to dead ends.

  7. Sunny July 10, 2024

    Can we trust the Senate will actually function properly with all these allegations floating around?

    • MaxTheThinker July 10, 2024

      Sunny, the effectiveness of the Senate is separate from the election process. We need to ensure they are properly scrutinized.

    • Sunny July 10, 2024

      Max, how can it be separate? If the very foundation is shaky, how can we expect stability in their functionality?

  8. KitKrang July 10, 2024

    It’s great that the EC is taking allegations seriously. But I wish the media would focus more on these investigations rather than sensational headlines.

  9. Prim Pachara July 10, 2024

    Political advisory roles should definitely be seen as a conflict of interest. It’s just common sense.

    • Jailbreak22 July 10, 2024

      Prim, common sense isn’t so common. Too many loopholes and grey areas in the laws.

  10. Pakorn July 10, 2024

    The dismissal of complaints by the Supreme Court gives me some hope, though. At least there’s some judicial oversight.

    • WeeraJ July 10, 2024

      Pakorn, do you really believe the judicial system is unbiased given the political pressure?

    • Pakorn July 10, 2024

      WeeraJ, I think we have to find balance. Total skepticism helps no one, nor does blind trust.

  11. Jet Li July 10, 2024

    The large number of rejected applications shows how diligent the EC has been. We need more of this stringent scrutiny.

  12. Rose P. July 10, 2024

    Boonmee’s defense of the process using Section 42 is just technical jargon to pacify critics.

  13. MintraT July 10, 2024

    If the new senators are as ineffective as the last, it won’t matter how fair the elections were.

  14. Chris W. July 10, 2024

    Navigating these rigorous steps might ensure cleaner elections, but it can also discourage genuine candidates from participating.

  15. OliviaGun July 10, 2024

    Appointing Maj Korapot Runghirunwat immediately was a good move. Quick decisions reflect efficiency.

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