Former election commissioner Assoc.Prof.Dr.Gothom Arya said he felt sorry for qualified candidates who represented the civil society were not among five finalists chosen out of a total of 15 applicants vying for the 7-member Election Commission.

Gothom, a human rights activist, said however the five finalists have met all qualifications required by the laws.

But he doubted if they could work well, pending assessment of their performances.

He said three qualified applicants who represented the civil society have passed the first round of test to enter the interview round but failed to be selected.

He questioned the intention of the selection committee.

But Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, chairman of the National Legislative Assembly and member of the selection committee, has earlier assured that the selection followed the constitutional procedure and views of members of the NLA.

Meanwhile Mr Kasem Kasempanya, a senior judge in the Appeals Court and a disqualified applicant, has petitioned the committee for the review of his qualification after he was disqualified by the selection committee.

Yesterday the assembly of judges in the Supreme Court has selected a Supreme Court judge, Pakorn Mahannop, as a finalist to the 7-member Election Commission, after it has selected Chatchai Chanpraisri as another finalist to the commission.

Under the Constittion, the Supreme Court is empowered to select two finalists to the Election Commission, while the NLA selects five finalists.

All the seven finalists will be screened again by the NLA's qualification committee before passing on to the NLA for vote within 45 days.

The five finalists from selection committee 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

The two finalists from the assembly of judges in the Supreme Court are:

1. Mr Pakorn Mahannop

2. Mr Chatchai Chanpraisri

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

By tladmin