Five finalists handpicked for new Election Commission

The selection committee tasked with selecting five election commissioners has endorsed five finalists who has passed the committee’s vision presentation test.

Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, chairman of the National Legislative Assembly and member of the selection committee said Tuesday (Dec 5) that the five finalists were chosen out of a total of 15 applicants who were qualified for vision presentation test.

To pass the test, the candidates must receive two-thirds of the votes of the selection committee, chaired by Supreme Court president Cheep Jullamon.

Mr Pornpetch said only four got two-thirds of the committee’s votes and the second round of vision presentation test was staged for the rest and only one of them was chosen.  He added that the committee would meet again on Thursday (Dec 7) to confirm the selection of the five finalists after which their list would be submitted to the National Legislative Assembly for consideration.

The five finalists are: 

1.Mr Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission

2.Mr Issaree Hunsacharoonroj, former rector of Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin

3.Mrs Chompan Pongcharoen-Suthirachart, legal advisor of Worawisith Company and legal chief of Suthirachart law firm

4.Mr Pracha Terat, former deputy permanent secretary of the interior and former governor of Narathiwat, Chon Buri and Surat Thani.

5. Ruangwit Katesuwan, former rector of Chaiyaphum Rajabhat University

Prominent figures who missed the final selection were Pol Gen Worapong Chiewpreecha, former deputy police chief; former Nakhon Si Thammarat governor Peerasak Hinmuangkao and Lt-Gen Perapong Manakit, a member of NBTC board.

Under the new Election Commission Act, there are seven election commissioners instead of five under the old law.  Five are selected by the selection committee and the remaining two are handpicked by the general assembly of the Supreme Court.

Acting election commissioner Somchai Srisuttiyakorn admitted that the new selection rule was tough as it set higher standard for candidates, particularly Article 8 of the Election Commission Act which specifies that a candidate must serve or used to serve in government service in a position of a director-general or equivalent for at least five years.