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The National Assembly of Thailand ( Abrv: NAT; th, รัฐสภา, , ) is the
bicameral Bicameralism is the practice of having a legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...
legislative branch A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure ...
of the
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...
of
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
. It convenes in the
Sappaya-Sapasathan The Sappaya-Sapasathan ( th, สัปปายะสภาสถาน, , ) is the third and current meeting place of the National Assembly of Thailand The National Assembly of Thailand ( Abrv: NAT; th, รัฐสภา, , ) is the bicamera ...
,
Dusit District Dusit District ( th, ดุสิต, ) is one of the Districts of Bangkok, 50 districts (khet) of Bangkok, Thailand. The district is the administrative centre of the kingdom, as both the National Assembly of Thailand, National Assembly and Dusit ...
,
Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern ...

Bangkok
. The National Assembly was established in 1932 after the adoption of Thailand's first constitution, which transformed Thailand from an
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocracy, autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monar ...
to a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
. During the 2013 political crisis, the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
was dissolved by Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra Yingluck Shinawatra ( th, ยิ่งลักษณ์ ชินวัตร, , , , ; born 21 June 1967), nicknamed Pou ( th, ปู, , , meaning "crab"), is a Thailand, Thai businesswoman, politician and a member of the Pheu Thai Party who be ...

Yingluck Shinawatra
who called for election on 2 February 2014 until it was nullified by the
Constitutional Court A constitutional court is a high court High court usually refers to the superior court In common law systems, a superior court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Ad ...
. After the 2014 ''coup d'état'', the National Assembly was replaced by the military-backed, unicameral National Legislative Assembly according to the 2014 constitution. After the promulgation of the 2017 Constitution in April 2017, the National Assembly was reestablished but the constitution allowed the military National Legislative Assembly to temporarily remain in place until the National Assembly was formed following the 2019 general election.


Composition

The National Assembly of the Kingdom of Thailand is a bicameral legislature composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Combined, the Assembly has 750 members, 500 of which were elected directly through a general election (500
MPs MP, Mp, mp or .mp may refer to: Arts and entertainment * ''M.P.'' (opera), an 1811 comic opera by Thomas Moore and Charles Edward Horn * Magic point Magic or mana is an attribute assigned to characters within a role-playing game, role-playi ...
in the lower house). Others include all 250 members of the Senate being appointed by the
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
. The majority of elections in Thailand follow the
first-past-the-post In a first-past-the-post electoral system (FPTP or FPP; sometimes formally called single-member plurality voting or SMP; sometimes called choose-one voting for single-member districts, in contrast to ranked voting, ranked-choice voting), voter ...
system which is used in the elections for the 375 members of the House of Representatives. The remaining 125 members of the House are elected by
party list proportional representation Party-list proportional representation is a subset of proportional representation electoral systems in which multiple candidates are elected (e.g., elections to parliament) through their position on an electoral list. They can also be used as pa ...
. Thailand's parliament is overwhelmingly male, at 95 percent. Representation by women is five percent, among the world's lowest. The Asian average is 20 percent while the global average for female parliamentarians is 24 percent. All fall short of the 30 percent considered satisfactory by United Nations Women.


Senate

The upper house is called the
Senate of Thailand The Senate of Thailand ( th, วุฒิสภา, , ; formerly known as th, พฤฒสภา, , ) is the upper house of the National Assembly of Thailand, (Thailand's legislative branch). In accordance with the 2017 Constitution of Thailan ...

Senate of Thailand
. The chamber is non-partisan and has limited legislative powers. The Senate is composed of 250 appointed members appointed by the
Royal Thai Army Royal may refer to: People * Royal (name) Royal can be a surname or a given name. Bearers include: Surname * Billy Joe Royal (1942–2015), American country music and pop singer * Calvin Royal III, American ballet dancer * Darrell Royal (1924 ...
. A term in the Senate is six years. It forbids members from holding any additional office or membership in
political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some kind of position; for example: * to be elected to ...
.


House of Representatives

The
lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated community in Apache County *Chambers, Nebraska *Chambers, We ...
is called the
House of Representatives of Thailand The House of Representatives ( th, สภาผู้แทนราษฎร; ; ) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, A ...
. The chamber is made up of 375 members from single constituency elections and 125 members from "proportional representation" by party lists, as codified in the
2007 Constitution of Thailand The ''Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, Buddhist Era 2550 (2007)'' ( th, รัฐธรรมนูญแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย พุทธศักราช ๒๕๕๐; ) was the constitution of Thailand ...
. Thailand's "proportional representation" is
parallel voting Parallel voting describes a mixed electoral system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and Referendum, referendums are conducted and how their results are determined. Political electoral syste ...
, AKA "mixed member majoritarian" (MMM). This is where the 125 seats are apportioned to political parties in accordance with the "
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
" popular vote each party receives. Every eligible voter in Thailand in a general election has two votes. The first is for constituency MP. The second vote is for the party the voter prefers. The second category is then added and the results divided into eight electoral areas. The other 375 seats are directly elected on a constituency basis. The House's term is four years, however, a
dissolution Dissolution may refer to: Arts and entertainment Books * Dissolution (Forgotten Realms novel), ''Dissolution'' (''Forgotten Realms'' novel), a 2002 fantasy novel by Richard Lee Byers * Dissolution (Sansom novel), ''Dissolution'' (Sansom novel), a ...
can happen at any time.


Elections

Elections in Thailand are held under
universal suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (a ...
; however, some restrictions apply: The voter must be a national of Thailand (if not by birth then by being a citizen for 5 years), must be over 18 years old before the year the election is held, and must have registered 90 days before the election. Those barred from voting in House elections are: members of the
sangha Sangha is a Sanskrit word used in many Indian languages, including Pali (saṅgha) meaning "association", "assembly", "company" or "community". It was historically used in a political context to denote a governing assembly in a republic or ...
or
clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established s. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's s and practices. Some of the terms used for ind ...
, those suspended from the privilege for various reasons, detainees under legal or court orders, and those who are of unsound mind or of mental infirmity. Voting in Thailand is
compulsory
compulsory
.


Officers

The
President of the National Assembly of Thailand The President of the National Assembly ( th, ประธานรัฐสภา; ; ) is the Speaker (politics), presiding officer (speaker) of the National Assembly of Thailand. Since 1997, the office has been an ''ex officio'' position occupie ...
is an ''
ex officio An ''ex officio'' member is a member of a body (notably a board, committee, council) who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. The term ''ex officio An ''ex officio'' member is a member of a body (notably a board, committee, council) ...
'' position occupied by the
Speaker of the House of Representatives of Thailand The President of the National Assembly ( th, ประธานรัฐสภา; ; ) is the Speaker (politics), presiding officer (speaker) of the National Assembly of Thailand. Since 1997, the office has been an ''ex officio'' position occupied ...
, who upon election as Speaker of the House, will automatically assume office as President of the National Assembly. The Vice President of the National Assembly of Thailand is also an ''ex officio'' position occupied by the President of the Senate of Thailand.


Functions


Legislation

The powers of the National Assembly are enshrined in Chapter 6, Part 7 of the
2007 Constitution of Thailand The ''Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, Buddhist Era 2550 (2007)'' ( th, รัฐธรรมนูญแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย พุทธศักราช ๒๕๕๐; ) was the constitution of Thailand ...
. The main powers of the National Assembly are its legislative powers. The procedure for an enactment of a bill is as follows: * A bill can be introduced to the National Assembly for consideration by the
Cabinet of Thailand The cabinet of Thailand or, formally, the Council of Ministers of Thailand ( th, คณะรัฐมนตรี; is a body composed of thirty-five of the most senior members of the government of the Kingdom of Thailand. The Cabinet (government ...
; by a minimum of twenty members of the House of Representatives; by a court ( the judiciary); by constitutional independent organs (but only in respect to laws that concern that organization); and by persons who have the right to vote submitting a petition of no fewer than ten thousand in number (a form of
direct democracy Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which the Election#Electorate, electorate decides on policy initiatives without legislator, legislative representatives as proxies. This differs from the majority of currently estab ...
). If the bill is a
money bill In the Westminster system The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent ...
its introduction can only be made with the endorsement of the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
. * The bill is then introduced to the House of Representative for debate, amendment, and vote. When the House of Representatives has considered the bill and passed a resolution approving it, the House of Representatives shall submit the bill to the Senate. The Senate must finish the consideration of such bill within 60 days, unless it is a money bill, when consideration must be finished within 30 days. * After the Senate has finished consideration of a bill, and if it agrees with the House of Representatives, the bill will then proceed to the next stage. If the Senate disagrees with the House of Representatives, then the bill will be withheld and returned to the House of Representatives. If there is an amendment, the amended bill will then be returned to the House of Representatives. If the House of Representatives approves the amendment, the bill will proceed to the next stage. In other cases, each house will appoint representatives (who may or may not be members of the Assembly) in equal number (as may be fixed by the House of Representatives), to constitute a joint committee to consider the bill. The joint committee will then prepare a report and resubmit the bill to both houses. If both houses approve the bill already considered by the joint committee, the bill will proceed to the next stage. If either house disapproves it, the bill will be withheld. * After a bill has been approved by the National Assembly, the prime minister presents it to the monarch for royal assent within 20 days from the date of the receipt of the bill from the National Assembly. It shall come into force upon its publication in the ''Royal Gazette''. * If the monarch refuses royal assent, by withholding his signature to a bill and either returns it to the National Assembly or does not return it within 90 days, (a
veto A veto (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relatio ...
), the National Assembly must re-deliberate that bill. If the National Assembly resolves to reaffirm the bill with the vote of not less than two-thirds of the total number of existing members of both houses, the prime minister shall again present the bill to the monarch for signature. If the monarch still does not sign and return the bill within 30 days, the prime minister can cause the bill to be promulgated as an act in the '' Royal Gazette'' as if the monarch had signed it. This gives the National Assembly the power to overturn a royal veto.


Relationship with the Government

The
Government of Thailand The Government of Thailand, or formally the Royal Thai Government ( Abrv: RTG; th, รัฐบาลไทย, , ), is the unitary government of the Kingdom of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically kno ...
, particularly the
Cabinet of Thailand The cabinet of Thailand or, formally, the Council of Ministers of Thailand ( th, คณะรัฐมนตรี; is a body composed of thirty-five of the most senior members of the government of the Kingdom of Thailand. The Cabinet (government ...
is answerable directly to the National Assembly. The constitution mandates that within 15 days of being sworn-in, the Cabinet must state its policies to the National Assembly. The National Assembly has the authority to call any minister to appear before it at any time to explain policies or answer questions. This power of scrutiny is important as some members of the Cabinet need not be members of the National Assembly. If they are a member, they can only be from the lower house or the House of Representatives, as the constitution expressly forbidden members of the Senate from being members of the Cabinet. As the prime minister is selected from the ranks of the House of Representatives and elected by the house, the prime minister is therefore directly responsible to the legislature. The National Assembly can compel him to appear before it like any other minister, and force him to explain policies and answer questions, just like any other member of the Cabinet. In reverse the Cabinet also has some powers over the National Assembly. The Cabinet can, according to the constitution, call an emergency session of the National Assembly at any time.


Appointment

Apart from its legislative and oversight functions, the National Assembly has the power of appointment and removal. The house is given exclusive right to elect the Prime Minister of Thailand. First the candidate must receive the support of one-fifth of all members. Afterwards, a simple majority vote will confirm his appointment which will be made officially by the monarch. The royal assent is then countersigned by the President of the National Assembly. The Senate is given exclusive powers to advise on the appointment of members of the judiciary and members of independent government organizations. These include judges of the
Constitutional Court of Thailand The Constitutional Court of the Kingdom of Thailand ( th, ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ, , ) is an independent Thai court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or gro ...
; members of the
Election Commission An election commission is a body charged with overseeing the implementation of electioneering process of any country. The formal names of election commissions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and may be styled an electoral commission, a ce ...
; members of the
National Anti-Corruption Commission The National Anti-Corruption Commission (Abbreviation, Abrv: NACC; th, คณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ, ) is a Constitutional organizations o ...
and the
National Human Rights Commission A human rights commission, also known as a human relations commission, is a body set up to investigate, promote or protect human rights Human rights are moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to ...
. However, the power to appoint members of the
State Audit Commission State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, U ...
(including the Auditor General) belongs to the monarch, with a counter signature of the President of the Senate. The National Assembly has the power to impeach and remove these officers. The prime minister can only be removed by the house in a
vote of no confidence A motion of no confidence, vote of no confidence, or no confidence motion, sometimes in the reverse as a motion of confidence or vote of confidence, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility (government, manager ...
. Members of the Cabinet are not appointed by the National Assembly, but they can be removed by the National Assembly in a similar process. This time the vote of no confidence is allowed by both or individual houses. Judges and independent government officers can also be removed by both houses of the National Assembly.


Term

The two houses of the National Assembly have different terms of office. In accordance with the constitution, the Senate is elected to a six-year term, while the House is elected to a four-year term. Overall, the term of the National Assembly is based on that of the House. The National Assembly each year will sit in two sessions: an "ordinary" session and a "legislative" session. The first session of the National Assembly must take place within 30 days of a
general election A general election is a political voting election where generally all or most members of a given political body are chosen. These are usually held for a nation, state, or territory's primary legislative body, and are different from by-election ...
of the House of Representatives. The first session must be opened by the
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...
in person by reading a
Speech from the Throne A speech from the throne (or throne speech) is an event in certain monarchies A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In ...
. This ceremony is held in the
Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall ( th, พระที่นั่งอนันตสมาคม : ''Phra Thinang Anantasamakhom'': translated as 'The place of immense gathering'Noobanjong, page 167) is a royal reception hall in Dusit Palace in ...
. The monarch may also appoint a representative to carry out this duty. It is also the duty of the monarch to prorogue sessions through a
royal decree A decree is a rule of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment ...
when the House term expires. The monarch also has the
prerogative In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by it ...
to call extraordinary sessions and prolong sessions at his discretion. The National Assembly may host a "joint-sitting" of both houses under several circumstances. These include the appointment of a regent; any alteration to the
1924 Palace Law of Succession The Palace Law of Succession, Buddhist Era 2467 (1924) ( th, กฎมณเฑียรบาลว่าด้วยการสืบราชสันตติวงศ์ พระพุทธศักราช ๒๔๖๗; ) governs Orde ...
; the opening of the first session; the announcement of policies by the
Cabinet of Thailand The cabinet of Thailand or, formally, the Council of Ministers of Thailand ( th, คณะรัฐมนตรี; is a body composed of thirty-five of the most senior members of the government of the Kingdom of Thailand. The Cabinet (government ...
; approval of a
declaration of war A declaration of war is a formal act by which one state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (n ...
; the hearing of explanations and approval of a
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...

treaty
; and the amendment of the constitution.


Privileges

Members of the National Assembly enjoy
parliamentary privilege Parliamentary privilege is a legal immunity Legal immunity, or immunity from prosecution, is a legal status wherein an individual or entity cannot be held liable for a violation of the law, in order to facilitate societal aims that outweigh the ...
s, enshrined in the constitution. These include the "words expressed in giving statements of fact or opinions or in casting the vote" in a joint session of the National Assembly; no member of the House of Representatives or Senate shall, during a session, be arrested, detained, or summoned by a warrant for an inquiry as the suspect in a criminal case unless permission of the house of which he or she is a member is obtained or he or she is arrested in ''
flagrante delicto ''In flagrante delicto'' (Latin: "in blazing offence") or sometimes simply ''in flagrante'' (Latin: "in blazing") is a legal term used to indicate that a criminal has been caught in the act of committing an offence (compare ). The colloquial "cau ...
''. The two houses also retain the privilege to decide its own rules and procedures, committees,
quorum A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a meeting of members Member may refer to: * Military jury, referred to as "Members" in military jargon * Element (mathematics), an object that be ...
of committees, sittings, the submission and consideration of organic law bills and bills, the submission of motions, the consultation, debates, the passing of a resolution, the recording and disclosure of the passing of a resolution, the interpellation, the initiation of a general debate and committee members.


Parliament House

From 28 June 1932 to 1974, the legislature met in the
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall ( th, พระที่นั่งอนันตสมาคม : ''Phra Thinang Anantasamakhom'': translated as 'The place of immense gathering'Noobanjong, page 167) is a royal reception hall in Dusit Palace in ...

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall
. After the first elections to the National Assembly in 1933, King
Prajadhipok Prajadhipok ( th, ประชาธิปก; RTGS: ''Prachathipok''; 8 November 1893 – 30 May 1941), reigning title Phra Pok Klao Chao Yu Hua, also Rama VII, was the seventh monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New Colleg ...

Prajadhipok
gave the Throne Hall for the legislature's use. However through the years the composition of the Assembly increased and the Throne Hall became too small to accommodate all the legislators and its secretariat. Three attempts were made to build a new building. Each failed because the government in power was terminated before a budget could be appropriated. The fourth time, however, was a success, with the help of King
Bhumibol Adulyadej Bhumibol Adulyadej ( th, ภูมิพลอดุลยเดช; ; ; 5 December 192713 October 2016), conferred with the title King Bhumibol the Great in 1987 (officially conferred by King Vajiralongkorn in 2019), was the ninth Monarchy of ...
who appropriated to the National Assembly royal land immediately north of the Throne Hall for the site of the new Parliament House. Construction began on 5 November 1970, with a budget of 51,027,360 baht. The new Parliament House complex is composed of three buildings: * The first building, or the Parliament House, is three
storey A storey (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage ...
s containing the meeting chamber for the National Assembly. The chamber is shared by both the Senate and the House. It also contains the offices of the President and Vice President of the National Assembly and other deputy presiding officers. * The second building is a seven-storey building containing the secretariat and offices of the National Assembly as well as its printing press. * The third building is a two-storey building used as the Parliament Club, with facilities for Assembly members. Parliament House was first used on 19 September 1974. The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall became a national historic building and was returned to the king as part of
Dusit Palace Dusit Palace ( th, พระราชวังดุสิต, ''Phra Ratcha Wang Dusit'') is a compound of royal residences in Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไท ...
. From then on Parliament House became the primary building used for the National Assembly. Only the state opening ceremony is now held in the Throne Hall. On 29 July 2008, the National Assembly appropriated new funds to construct a new and grander Parliament House. As of December 2008, a site belonging to the
Royal Thai Army Royal may refer to: People * Royal (name) Royal can be a surname or a given name. Bearers include: Surname * Billy Joe Royal (1942–2015), American country music and pop singer * Calvin Royal III, American ballet dancer * Darrell Royal (1924 ...
was identified as the site of a new complex, but no further action has been taken. In 2013, the National Assembly confirmed that the National Assembly will move to new Parliament House in the named of
Sappaya-Sapasathan The Sappaya-Sapasathan ( th, สัปปายะสภาสถาน, , ) is the third and current meeting place of the National Assembly of Thailand The National Assembly of Thailand ( Abrv: NAT; th, รัฐสภา, , ) is the bicamera ...
.


History


Establishment

Prior to 1932, the Kingdom of
Siam ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai language, ...

Siam
did not possess a legislature, as all legislative powers were vested in the person of the
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...
. This had been the case since the foundation of the
Sukhothai Kingdom The Sukhothai Kingdom ( th, สุโขทัย, , IAST: , ) was a post-classical Thai kingdom (Mandala (political model), mandala) in Mainland Southeast Asia surrounding the ancient capital city of Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai in pr ...
in the 12th century, as the king was seen as a “Dharmaraja” or "king who rules in accordance with
Dharma Dharma (; sa, धर्म, dharma, ; pi, dhamma, italic=yes; ta, aṟam, italic=yes) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the s ...
" (the Buddhist law of righteousness). However, on 24 June 1932 a group of civilians and military officers, calling themselves the
Khana Ratsadon The People's Party, known in Thai as Khana Ratsadon ( th, คณะราษฎร, ), was a Thailand, Siamese group of military and civil officers, and later a political party, which staged a 1932 Siamese coup d'état, bloodless revolution again ...
(or People's Party) carried out a
bloodless revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), is also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch. It refers to the deposition of Ja ...
, in which the 150 years of
absolute rule Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocracy, autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monar ...
of the House of Chakri was ended. In its stead the group advocated a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
with an elected legislature. The "Draft Constitution" of 1932 signed by King
Prajadhipok Prajadhipok ( th, ประชาธิปก; RTGS: ''Prachathipok''; 8 November 1893 – 30 May 1941), reigning title Phra Pok Klao Chao Yu Hua, also Rama VII, was the seventh monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New Colleg ...

Prajadhipok
, created Thailand’s first legislature, a People’s Assembly with 70 appointed members. The Assembly met for the first time on 28 June 1932, in the
Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall ( th, พระที่นั่งอนันตสมาคม : ''Phra Thinang Anantasamakhom'': translated as 'The place of immense gathering'Noobanjong, page 167) is a royal reception hall in Dusit Palace in ...
. The Khana Ratsadon decided that the people were not yet ready for an elected assembly, then later changed their minds. By the time the "permanent" constitution came into force in December of that year, elections were scheduled for 15 November 1933. The new constitution changed the composition of the Assembly to 78 directly elected and 78 appointed (by the Khana Ratsadon), together totalling 156 members.


After World War II until military dominance

After the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
a new constitution was promulgated in 1946 under the government of
Pridi Panomyong Pridi Banomyong ( th, ปรีดี พนมยงค์, , ; 11 May 1900 – 2 May 1983), also known by his noble title Luang Praditmanutham ( th, หลวงประดิษฐ์มนูธรรม) was a Thailand, Thai politician and ...
. The constitution is considered Thailand’s most democratic and created for the first time a bicameral legislature: a Senate and a House of Representatives. Also for the first and last time, the constitution called for a fully elected Senate (albeit indirectly) and House. The Senate to a six-year term and the House to four years. The ban on
political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some kind of position; for example: * to be elected to ...
was lifted and the first full elections were held in 1946. However, in 1947 a coup d’etat by the military abrogated the constitution and replaced it with the 1947 "temporary" and then a "permanent" charter in 1949. The new constitution retained the House, but created a 100-member Senate directly appointed by the
king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...
. On June 5, 1949,
Orapin Chaiyakan Orapin Chaiyakan ( th, อรพินท์ ไชยกาล) was Thai Thai or THAI may refer to: * Of or from Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia ** Thai people, the dominant ethnic group of Thailand ** Thai language, a Tai-Kadai language ...
became the first woman to be elected to hold a post in the National Assembly of Thailand (specifically, the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
.Sopchokchai, Orapin
Female Members of Parliament, Women's Political Participation at the National Level
, Women's Political Participation in Thailand, TDRI Quarterly Review, Vol. 13, No. 4, December 1998, pp. 11-20
Iwanaga, Kazuki
Women in Politics in Thailand
, Working Paper No. 14, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University, Sweden, 2005
)


Military dominance

This charter lasted until 1957 when the military again carried out a coup d'etat and created a single 123-member appointed National Assembly, 103 of which were from the military or police. In 1959
Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space force ...
Sarit Thanarat Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually it is the highest rank in an army and as such few persons are appointed to it. It ...

Sarit Thanarat
carried out another coup d'etat this time abolishing the National Assembly altogether. In 1969 under
Thanom Kittikachorn Field marshal (Thailand), Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn ( th, ถนอม กิตติขจร, ; 11 August 1911 – 16 June 2004) was a Thai military dictator. A staunch anti-communist, Thanom oversaw a decade of military rule in Tha ...
the National Assembly returned, this time with a 219-member House and again a royally appointed Senate. This lasted until 1972 when Thanom overthrew his own government and ruled the country through a National Executive Council. Under pressure Thanom reinstated a 299-member appointed National Legislative Assembly, 200 which were members of the military. In 1974 the rule of the "three tyrants" (as Thanom's tenure became known) was finally overthrown. A new constitution was promulgated, this time swinging the power back to the legislature by creating a bicameral legislature with an elected House and a House-appointed Senate. Within two years the military led by
Thanin Kraivichien Thanin Kraivichien (first name also spelled ''Tanin'', last name ''Kraivixien'' or ''Kraivichian''; th, ธานินทร์ กรัยวิเชียร, , ; born 5 April 1927) is a Thai Thai or THAI may refer to: * Of or from Thaila ...
again abrogated the constitution and installed a royally-appointed 360-member unicameral National Assembly. By 1978,
Kriangsak Chamanan Kriangsak Chamanan ( th, เกรียงศักดิ์ ชมะนันทน์, ; 17 December 191723 December 2003) served as list of Prime Ministers of Thailand, prime minister of Thailand from 1977 to 1980. After staging a successfu ...
(who succeeded Tanin in 1977) restored the bicameral legislature with an elected 301-member House and a 225-member Senate appointed by the prime minister. This arrangement lasted for almost 13 years until Army Commander General
Suchinda Kraprayoon Suchinda Kraprayoon ( th, สุจินดา คราประยูร, ; born 6 August 1933) is a Thai retired army general and politician. As the commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army (1990–1992) he led the 1991 Thai coup d'état ...

Suchinda Kraprayoon
overthrew the government of
Chatichai Choonhavan Chatichai Choonhavan ( th, ชาติชาย ชุณหะวัณ, , ; 5 April 1920 – 6 May 1998) was a Thai army officer, diplomat and politician. From 1986 to 1991, he was the chairman of the Thai Nation Party and served as the Prim ...
in 1991 and returned the unicameral appointed National Assembly with 292 members. However Suchinda’s rule was brought down by the Black May uprising, which led to the overthrow of the military and the drafting of a new constitution.


The present

The Constitution of 1997 or the "People's Constitution", returned Thailand to democracy with a National Assembly composed of an elected 500-member (400 directly, 100 by party-lists) House of Representatives, and an elected 200-member Senate. This arrangement lasted for almost ten years. The constitution was abrogated following the 2006 Coup d’etat, by the military under General
Sonthi Boonyaratglin Sonthi Boonyaratglin ( th, สนธิ บุญยรัตกลิน, , ; born 2 October 1946) is a Thai former Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army and former head of the Council for National Security, the military junta that ruled the ...

Sonthi Boonyaratglin
. In 2007 the military appointed
National Legislative Assembly
National Legislative Assembly
to draft the new constitution. This copy was eventually adopted after it was approved through a
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
in 2007. This constitution was abrogated at the end of 2013 with the fall of the
Yingluck Shinawatra Yingluck Shinawatra ( th, ยิ่งลักษณ์ ชินวัตร, , , , ; born 21 June 1967), nicknamed Pou ( th, ปู, , , meaning "crab"), is a Thailand, Thai businesswoman, politician and a member of the Pheu Thai Party who be ...

Yingluck Shinawatra
government. As of 2016 the country is governed by the
2014 interim constitution of Thailand The ''Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim) 2014'' ( th, รัฐธรรมนูญแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย (ฉบับชั่วคราว) พุทธศักราช ๒๕๕๗) was a con ...
. A
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
on a new constitution is held in August 2016. After it was approved through a
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
in 2016, In 6 April 2017 new constitution is officially endorsed by His Majesty the King
Vajiralongkorn Vajiralongkorn ( th, วชิราลงกรณ; , ; born 28 July 1952) is the King of Thailand The monarchy of Thailand (whose monarch is referred to as the king of Thailand or historically, king of Siam; th, พระมหากษ ...

Vajiralongkorn
in the ceremony of promulgation for the 2017 constitution. *''Further Information:
Constitution of Thailand The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand ( th, รัฐธรรมนูญแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย; ) provides the basis for the rule of law in Thailand. Since the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1932, Thail ...
''


See also

*
President of the National Assembly of Thailand The President of the National Assembly ( th, ประธานรัฐสภา; ; ) is the Speaker (politics), presiding officer (speaker) of the National Assembly of Thailand. Since 1997, the office has been an ''ex officio'' position occupie ...
* National People's Assembly of Thailand * National Legislative Assembly of Thailand 2006 *
Government of Thailand The Government of Thailand, or formally the Royal Thai Government ( Abrv: RTG; th, รัฐบาลไทย, , ), is the unitary government of the Kingdom of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically kno ...
*
Politics of Thailand Until 22 May 2014, the politics of Thailand were conducted within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister of Thailand, prime minister is the head of government and a Hereditary monarchy, hereditary monarch is head ...
*
Constitution of Thailand The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand ( th, รัฐธรรมนูญแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย; ) provides the basis for the rule of law in Thailand. Since the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1932, Thail ...
*
2007 Constitution of Thailand The ''Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, Buddhist Era 2550 (2007)'' ( th, รัฐธรรมนูญแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย พุทธศักราช ๒๕๕๐; ) was the constitution of Thailand ...
*
Senate of Thailand The Senate of Thailand ( th, วุฒิสภา, , ; formerly known as th, พฤฒสภา, , ) is the upper house of the National Assembly of Thailand, (Thailand's legislative branch). In accordance with the 2017 Constitution of Thailan ...

Senate of Thailand
*
House of Representatives of Thailand The House of Representatives ( th, สภาผู้แทนราษฎร; ; ) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, A ...
*
Elections in Thailand Elections in Thailand ( th, การเลือกตั้งในประเทศไทย) refers to the democratic process in which some parts of the Government of Thailand The Government of Thailand, or formally the Royal Thai Gove ...
*
List of legislatures by country This is a list of legislatures by country. A "legislature" is the generic name for the national parliaments and congresses that act as a plenary general Deliberative assembly, assembly of Representative democracy, representatives and that have th ...


References


External links

*
2007 Constitution of Thailand The ''Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, Buddhist Era 2550 (2007)'' ( th, รัฐธรรมนูญแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย พุทธศักราช ๒๕๕๐; ) was the constitution of Thailand ...

Parliament of Thailand
{{Asia topic, Parliament of Parliament of Thailand, 1932 establishments in Siam 2014 disestablishments in Thailand 2019 establishments in Thailand National legislatures, Thailand Parliaments by country, Thailand Bicameral legislatures, Thailand Politics of Thailand