Opposition Wants Junta to Explain How Senators Were Chosen

Junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha at Government House on June 19, 2019.

BANGKOK — Opposition politicians said Wednesday they plan to file a motion urging the House Speaker to scrutinize the criteria used by the junta to select the 250 senators.

Pheu Thai MP Suthin Klangsaeng told reporters that seven parties will file a motion asking Parliament to convene a special house committee tasked with looking into the selection procedure, which they fear could have been fraught with favoritism.

“So far, the process hasn’t been revealed,” Suthin said.

The junta handpicked nearly all of the Upper House, with the selection process kept under wraps from the public. The names of the senators, unsurprisingly stacked with junta loyalists, were only released days before Parliament convened for the first time.


Critics of the regime also raised suspicions when some documents detailing the selection process went missing from the government website.

Suthin said the opposition parties want to know the regulations and criteria governing the selection process, and whether there was any conflict of interest or constitutional violations in the naming of some relatives of junta members as senators.

The seven parties also want to scrutinize how a budget of 1.3 billion baht was spent on selecting the senators, and whether the spending complied with the law.


Future Forward Party MP Piyabutr Saengkanokkul said previous attempts have been made to investigate the matter without any success. He said setting up a special house committee to probe the selection process is now the only viable solution.

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