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Volume 1, Issue 1

March 2015

The Kingdom of Thailands Governmental System


Constitutional Monarchy
Thailand shifted from an
absolute to a constitutional
monarchy in 1932 as a result
of the Siamese coup d'tat.
This revolution ended 700
years of absolute rule of
Thailand by a King. A
constitutional monarchy
means that the monarch (in
this case the King) is head of state but the ability to make and
pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament.

Constitution of Thailand
Thailand has been governed under 17 constitutions and
charters. The number is so high because intervening military
coups seize power and then the new leaders suspend the old
constitution and implement their own in an attempt to
legitimize their power. Every perceived crisis seems to lead
to another coup, and the same cycle. Notably, the Peoples
Constitution of 1997 was unlike any of its kind because it
was written by the Constitution Drafting Assembly. This was
initiated by Thai citizens after Black May. It changed the
government system from a representative democracy to a
participatory democracy. Thailands current constitution of 2007
resulted from an overthrow of Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra in 2006. The King revoked the 1997 Constitution and
placed the junta in charge of the country. The junta, now called
the Council for Democratic Reform, developed the new
constitution used in Thailand today.
International Relations

King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) is the current, and longest,


reigning King of Thailand. He became Head of State in 1946 and
has been a symbol of stability for the country since then.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was


established in Bangkok, Thailand in 1967. Its efforts promote
economic development, social integration, stability, and
cooperation throughout the region. Participating states, in
addition to Thailand, include Viet Nam, the Philippines,
Indonesia, Cambodia, and a few others. Thailand's foreign policy
includes a close and longstanding security relationship with the
United States and its relations with China are steadily increasing
across the board.

Branches of Government
There are three branches of government: Executive, Legislative,
and Judicial. Under the first branch is the King, the Prime
Minister, and the Cabinet. The Prime Minister is the head and
face of the government. He is selected by the House of
Representatives and appointed by the King. He is responsible for
the administration of all government agencies, except the courts
and the legislative bodies. The second branch is known as the
National Assembly is the law making branch and houses the
Senate and House of Representatives. Their primary
responsibility is adoption of laws to govern Thai society. The
third branch is made up of the Constitutional Court.

People's Alliance for Democracy: Anti-government group a


disparate collection of democrats and royalists backed by urban
middle class.