BANGKOK — It emerged Wednesday that six members of the committee that selected candidates for the junta-appointed senate are now themselves senators.
Under mounting pressure from transparency activists and political parties, deputy prime minister Wissanu Krea-ngam finally unveiled the identities of the selection committee who contributed to filling the 250-member junta-appointed senate.
Among the committee were six senators: former deputy PM Gen. Chatchai Sarikulya, former deputy PM Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, former deputy PM Thanasak Patimaprakorn, deputy junta head Adm. Narong Pipatanasai, former labor minister Pol. Gen. Adul Saengsingkaew, and former president of the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly Pornpetch Wichitcholchai.
Wissanu said the junta had been considering potential committee members since December 2018 and that members were to be “politically neutral”.
He claimed that members of the selection committee abstained from voting or attending the voting session if their name came up in the candidate roster.
“I can confirm that no member ever brought up their name in the selection process. Everything is on the record,” Wissanu said.
The junta-appointed senate, dominated by military figures and junta favourites, elected to vote unanimously in favour of junta leader Gen. Prayuth’s second term as prime minister when parliament convened last week.