It was announced that AKB48 would be holding their annual Senbatsu General Election.
The 6th election will be held to choose the Senbatsu members who can participate in the group's 37th single (Currently untitled, to be released in August).
Up until now, top 64 girls were chosen in the past elections, but this year, the number will be increased to top 80 girls;
• 1st ~ 16th : 37th single Senbatsu members
• 17th ~ 32nd : Under Girls
• 33rd ~ 48th : Next Girls
• 49th ~ 64th : Future Girls
• 65th ~ 80th : Upcoming Girls
Just like last year, the election will be held in the "candidacy system." The eligible members are 263 girls who satisfy either of the following conditions (* = Applies to the new teams after the recent team shuffle).
(1) The members of AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, and HKT48 (exclude the members who announce their graduation as of March 22.) *Nogizaka46's Ikoma Rina is also eligible as she holds concurrent positions in both Nogizaka46 and AKB48 after the team shuffle.
(2) Former AKB48 members who transfer to the sister group in overseas (Nakagawa Haruka and Chikano Rina).
Last year, former members who who were a part of the AKB groups for more than 4 years in the past were also eligible to participate in the election, however, this year, they are not qualified to stand as a candidate.
The reception desk period for the candidacy will be from March 31 at 4:30 pm ~ April 6 at 11:00 pm.
The fans who can vote for the election will include those who purchase AKB48's 36th single (currently untitled) which will go on sale on May 21, fan club members, mobile members, and so on. The voting for the election will begin on May 20 at 10:00 am, until on June 6 at 3:00 pm (JST).
The vote counting event will be held at Ajinomoto Stadium on June 7.
Source & Image: Oricon + AKB48 official site
Thanks to muanyata for the tip!