Thailand's Election Commission (EC) has earmarked 1.8 billion baht (about 529.4 million U.S. dollars) to organize the senatorial election and selection process, set in early next year, EC secretary general Suthiphol Haveechaigarn said Thursday.
"The preparations will focus on publicity to raise awareness about the new electoral system and the nomination process for senatorial candidates," Suthiphol was quoted by news network The Nation as saying.
The Constitution 2007 stipulates that the 150-seat Senate will be produced through two different kinds of procedure: 76 senators will be elected in the 76 provinces all around the country, each seat for one province; the other 74 will be appointed by a selection panel.
For the appointed seats, professional groups will submit the names of their candidates on Jan. 13 to 17 at the EC headquarters in Bangkok.
A EC-appointed panel will vet the candidates' credentials before forwarding the names to the seven-member selection committee headed by Constitution Tribunal president Virat Limvichai, to appoint 74 for the job.
For the elected 76 seats, the race is scheduled for March 6.