Senate poll “prone to manipulation”

Senate poll "prone to manipulation"

MFP, iLaw query ‘ third- fried’ system

Senate poll 'prone to manipulation'
Parit Wacharasindhu, Move Forward Party MP and spokeswoman

The Move Forward Party ( MFP ) has slammed the process behind the upcoming Senate election for paying lip service to professional representation and being prone to manipulation.

The concerns were conveyed by Parit Wacharasindhu, an MFP list MP and party spokesman, and Yingcheep Atchanond, manager of the Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw ), at a seminar recently.

Mr Parit expressed doubts the vote will get representatives across 20 expert groups to complete 200 chairs.

The vote, the result of which is expected to be known in July, may be held at district, provincial and national levels. Member registration will take place after the former legislators ‘ term expires in earlier May.

Three successful candidates may make the cut in each specialist team in each area, or 60 from 20 groups in a neighborhood. When compounded by 928 districts globally, there will be 55, 680 area- level applicants who may enter the statewide race.

A statewide, intercellular- expert group election will observe, shortlisting the applicants to two per group, or 40 across 20 groups in each province, or 3, 080 applicants across 78 provinces global.

At the federal stage, the 3, 080 candidates will go into an cross- group election. Ten candidates with the highest number of votes in each party, or 200 across 20 parties, may be senators.

Mr Parit told the” Sol Bar Talk” conference that the vote does not allow the new lawmakers to work with democratic legitimacy.

” The program does not allow for lawmakers to be instantly elected by the people but via the election of skilled staff. But the senators from this third- cooked system are given a higher degree of power, like as vetoing a law amendment and endorsing Constitutional Court judges”, he said.

Mr Parit also noted the Senate poll begins at the district level, which compels candidates to consolidate local support.

Candidates who are respected in their fields may not possess enough of a support base, prompting them to seek the help of local politicians to win.

He added that at the national level, cross- voting means candidates belonging to one professional group might not know enough about the qualifications and credentials of fellow candidates from other groups they are voting for.

Mr Parit said he feared that inorganic block voting would be involved, where candidates would resort to all means possible to set up networks of supporters within their professional groups and in other groups.

He said the election is complex and many practical aspects are unclear. For example, the Election Commission has not specified what criteria it will use to verify that the candidates have experience in their respective professions spanning at least 10 years.

Meanwhile, Mr Yingcheep said the lingering question was whether the Senate poll would carry on the current coup- appointed Senate.

He also found puzzling claims that the election will produce senators who represent local voices since the candidates in the districts will eventually be put to cross- group voting to decide who will win seats at the national level.