Thai Senate race attracts fewer applicants than anticipated

BANGKOK: More than 48,000 hopefuls have submitted applications for Thailand’s upcoming Senate race, a number that the country’s election body says falls below expectations.

The country is gearing up for the first selection for its 200-member upper house of parliament since a coup in 2014. But the general public will have no role in picking the new senators.

There will be a "self-selection” process, under which applicants will be voting among themselves, with people divided into 20 civil and professional categories, ranging from farmers to lawyers, women and ethnic minorities.

Polls are planned for June 9-26, and results are expected by July 2. But the fee for candidates is at least six times the daily minimum wage, meaning the system may exclude people who don’t have disposable income.

The number of applicants is lower than expected, possibly because of the high qualifications required and the cumbersome selection process, the Election Commission’s Secretary-General Sawaeng Boonmee said in a statement on Saturday.

"The selection will be smooth and easy to manage with this size of applicants,” he said. - Bloomberg

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