BANGKOK, 8 September 2014 – The Election Commission (EC) has confirmed the official number of nominees for the National Reform Council (NRC) at 7,370. The qualification process is near completion, with 30 candidates ruled out so far.
Following the application period from August 14 to September 2, EC Secretary-General Phuchong Nutrawong announced that the final tally of NRC candidates has settled at 7,370. Previously, the unofficial number was recorded at 6,729 but it was driven up after more applications were received by mail.
Out of all the applications received, 4,585 were submitted to the central EC office in accordance with the applicants’ field of expertise. The other 2,785 applications were turned in to provincial EC offices throughout the country.
In terms of the number of applications filed for each of the 11 fields of reform, the highest number was seen in education at 778, followed by miscellaneous affairs, social affairs and local administration. The least applications were tendered in the field of media at 194.
According to Mr Phuchong, the 11 selection committees have thus far disqualified 30 nominees mostly due to prohibited records, such as having electoral rights revoked, being convicted of crimes or drug abuse and being bankrupt.
The qualification process is expected to finish by September 11 in time for the selection committees’ meeting on September 12, during which the number of candidates will be narrowed down to 50 persons for each of the 11 reform areas, or 550 persons in total. Concurrently, the selection panel in each province will pick out five of the local nominees to contest in the final round for a spot in the 250-seat NRC.