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Dates of election / renewal (from/to):
  19 April 2006
Purpose of elections:
  Elections were held for all the 200 seats in the Senate on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
Background and outcome of elections:
  On 20 January 2006, the Election Commission of Thailand set 19 April as the date for elections to the Senate, the upper chamber of the Thai National Assembly. The Senate is theoretically a non-partisan body. Under Thai electoral law, candidates to the Senate must not belong to a political party, and are barred from campaigning.

The Senate elections were held in parallel with the second round of controversial snap elections to the House of Representatives, called by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra just one year after the previous parliamentary elections in 2005. The elections to the House of Representatives were boycotted by the major opposition parties.

A total of 1,463 candidates contested the 200 seats in the Senate. Approximately 27.5 million of the 44 million registered voters cast their ballots, or 62.5 per cent. Election-related violence in the south of the country, where three people were killed and 21 others were injured, was reported to be the work of separatists.

Despite the formal absence of political parties in the Senate, around 106 seats were deemed to have been won by candidates supporting the ruling Thai Love Thai (Thai Rak Thai -TRT) party. An additional 36 seats were won by candidates allied with the TRT's coalition partner, Chart Thai (Thai Nation). The remainder went to candidates supporting the opposition Democrat Party (PD/DP) and other candidates.

On 8 May, the elections to the House of Representatives were invalidated by the Constitutional Court. Although the mandate of senators officially began on the day of their election, the Senate was unable to meet because the Thai Constitution stipulated that the Senate can not hold sessions when the term of the House of Representatives has expired or the House is dissolved.

A Royal decree was published on 24 August calling for new elections to the House of Representatives on 15 October. However, on 19 September, General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin led a military coup and declared himself head of the provisional government, the Council for Democratic Reform (which was renamed to the Council for National Security). He subsequently dissolved the Parliament and dismissed Prime Minister Shinawatra, who was in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

On 1 October, a retired General, Mr. Surayud Chulanont, was appointed as interim Prime Minister. The interim Constitution promulgated on the same day provided for the creation of a National Legislative Assembly, a transitional legislative body composed of a maximum of 250 members. It was appointed by the King on 12 October and elected the former Senate Speaker, Mr. Meechai Ruchupan, as its Speaker.
Round no 1 (19 April 2006): Election results
Number of registered electors 4'400'000
Voters 2'750'000 (62.5%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
Round no 1: Distribution of votes
Political Group Candidates Votes %  
Round no 1: Distribution of seats
Political Group Total
Distribution of seats according to political group: Not applicable - non-partisan elections.
Distribution of seats according to sex:
Men: 153
Women: 47
Percent of women: 23.50
Distribution of seats according to age:
31 to 40 years 3
41 to 50 years 70
51 to 60 years 81
61 to 70 years 46
Distribution of seats according to profession:
Business/trade/industry employees, including executives       96
Civil/public servants/administrators (including social/development workers)       59
Others       15
Legal professions       12
Medical professions (doctors, dentists, nurses)       7
Liberal professions (including artists, authors) and sports professionals       6
Educator       5


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