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Election Commission Faces Hurdles Amid Constitutional Court’s Senate Election Law Review

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On Friday, the Election Commission (EC) is slated to shed light on the implications of a recent decision by the Constitutional Court. This decision, announced on Wednesday, involves the hearing of a petition questioning whether four contentious provisions in the organic law governing the Senate election violate the constitution. The court’s verdict precedes the district-level voting slated for Sunday, although it did not issue an injunction, citing a lack of significant consequences from proceeding with the Senate poll.

The crux of the controversy revolves around Sections 36, 40(3), 41(3), and 42(3) of the Senate election law. Section 36 focuses on the self-introduction of the candidates, while the others pertain to voting across various levels, encompassing district, provincial, and national scopes.

The court reached an 8:1 vote in favor of determining if these provisions contravene Section 107 of the charter, which details the selection process for the Senate. It has also directed relevant state agencies to submit their viewpoints within five days of receiving its order, or the subsequent week.

Following this decision, the EC has mobilized its election management and legal teams to find solutions to the issue. Any recommendations from these teams are expected to be presented to the seven commissioners for review and decision-making, a process likely to conclude today, according to EC secretary-general Sawang Boonmee.

In a message to all EC officials on Thursday, Mr. Sawang reassured them that an expedient resolution would be found, ensuring that everyone would be aware of their roles and responsibilities for Sunday’s district-level voting.

The legal tension hinges on the organic law from 2018 dictating the composition of the Senate, a law to which the EC adhered when drafting regulations for the approaching Senate election. Mr. Sawang emphasized that these were not the regulations being disputed. As such, the EC firmly believes it can convincingly clarify the alleged constitutional violation. “I strongly believe this problem will eventually be solved,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, EC chairman Itthiporn Boonpracong emphasized to provincial EC officials in Ang Thong the necessity of adhering strictly to the Senate election handbook during Sunday’s voting.

Adding to the weight of the situation, Caretaker Senator Somchai Swangkarn has previously claimed that up to 149 candidates might have already been pre-selected as winners at the district and provincial levels even before the vote. On Thursday, he warned that those implicated in collusion could face up to 10 years of imprisonment.

Likewise, any EC officials who fail to thoroughly vet election candidates could face charges of dereliction of duty, he warned.

Another caretaker senator, Direkrit Janekrongtham, expressed concerns on Thursday that the official results of the Senate election may not be announced on July 2 as scheduled, given the myriad issues impacting the election of 200 new senators.


  1. Catherine L. June 6, 2024

    This decision by the court seems to be a huge procrastination. If the issues are really unconstitutional, why wait until the last minute to bring them up?

    • grower134 June 6, 2024

      It’s classic bureaucratic strategy. They wait until the 11th hour so there’s no time to react properly.

      • Catherine L. June 6, 2024

        You’re right. It really just instills uncertainty and chaos right before the elections. Very frustrating for everyone involved.

  2. Steve June 6, 2024

    Does anyone else find it suspicious that 149 candidates might have already been pre-selected? This screams corruption!

    • Maria Gomez June 6, 2024

      That’s a heavy accusation, but unfortunately not very surprising. The entire process is rife with opportunities for underhand dealings.

      • Steve June 6, 2024

        Exactly! And with such allegations, how can we trust the process or the results at all?

    • academic43 June 6, 2024

      The problem is systemic. Without significant electoral reforms, these kinds of situations are likely to persist.

      • Steve June 7, 2024

        Which reforms would actually create meaningful change? It feels like even the reforms get bogged down in politics and corruption.

  3. Alex Kim June 6, 2024

    People need to have more faith in the Election Commission. They’re doing the best they can under very difficult circumstances.

    • Joe June 6, 2024

      Faith? When you hear about things like potential pre-selection, faith goes right out the window.

    • Olivia June 7, 2024

      But what about the good EC officials who genuinely want a fair election? Do we just tar everyone with the same brush?

  4. David H. June 6, 2024

    Why isn’t there more international oversight in these elections? We need neutral voices to help ensure fairness.

  5. politicoFan June 6, 2024

    International oversight could be a double-edged sword. Nations need to sort out their own house before inviting external intervention.

  6. Chris Davis June 7, 2024

    This mess just makes one wonder if our democratic processes are really all that democratic. Too much manipulation and backroom deals.

    • MoD123 June 7, 2024

      Unfortunately, democracy is often more theory than practice.

      • Chris Davis June 7, 2024

        That’s a sad but true statement. We’ve got to hold these officials accountable.

  7. academic43 June 7, 2024

    Section 107 of the charter must be more strictly enforced. There are too many gray areas in the legislation.

    • Jaylen June 7, 2024

      Gray areas are where the corruption thrives. We need clear, unambiguous laws.

      • academic43 June 7, 2024

        Absolutely. Precision in legal language is essential for accountability.

  8. Eliza Young June 7, 2024

    If the EC believes the problem will be solved, they need to offer more transparency to the public. Why not show us the detailed steps they’re taking?

    • urbanangel234 June 7, 2024

      Transparency is just a buzzword if they don’t actually practice it.

  9. Hannah June 7, 2024

    I think the focus should be on making sure election candidates are properly vetted. It’s ridiculous that officials could face dereliction of duty charges if they miss something.

  10. Mark June 7, 2024

    It’s also troubling that election results could be delayed. How will this impact the political stability of the nation?

  11. MoD123 June 7, 2024

    Caretaker Senator Somchai Swangkarn is stirring the pot with these claims about pre-selected candidates. Any proof to back his allegations?

    • urbanangel234 June 7, 2024

      Even if he doesn’t have proof, raising these issues is necessary. Ignoring potential problems doesn’t make them go away.

  12. Larry Davis June 7, 2024

    Most of these problems could be mitigated if there were harsher penalties for election violations. 10 years isn’t enough for betraying public trust.

    • David H. June 7, 2024

      True. The penalties need to be severe enough to deter any misconduct.

      • Larry Davis June 7, 2024

        Harsh penalties would also reflect the gravity of corrupt actions in our democratic process.

  13. Emily June 7, 2024

    This article highlights the complexity of election law and the implications of last-minute judicial reviews. It’s a delicate balancing act for the EC.

  14. Sam R. June 7, 2024

    I have little hope that the ‘expedient resolution’ promised by the EC will be anything more than a band-aid solution. The root of the problems will persist without real structural changes.

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