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Friday, May 9, 2014

Asia

Battle of wits as Thai candidates fight for Senate Speaker's post

The Nation/ANN | Friday, May 9, 2014

THAILAND - As there is no House of Representatives at the moment, the Senate remains the only legislative institution and can play a very crucial role in Thai politics.

Among the total 150 senators, there are four apparent candidates for the post, and they can be divided into three groups based on their supporters.

Appointed Senator Pol General Jongrak Jutanont and Maha Sarakham Senator Srimuang Charoensiri have the support of the Shinawatras and some Pheu Thai Party members.

Deputy House Speaker Surachai Liengboonlertchai, an appointed senator, has the support of the anti-Pheu Thai group of senators while Suphan Buri Senator Jongchai Thiengtham, who has very good connections with the Chart Thai Pattana Party, is promoting himself for the post.

The group of 40 senators that opposes the Pheu Thai government keeps it strength. The group's campaign promoting the Senate Speaker's ability to solve the political crisis is supported by at least 20 new senators.

When combined with the 60 supporters it had gained earlier, it is likely that Surachai - a legal expert - will sail through and get the Senate's top post in the first round of voting.

Jongrak's position is similar to Surachai in the sense that he does not explicitly take Pheu Thai's side and he is also experienced in legislation.

That's why he and his supporters still stand a chance.

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