Connect with us
National Assembly of Thailand1000x600 National Assembly of Thailand1000x600

Thai Country Studies

National Assembly of Thailand

In the 1980s, the bicameral parliament, unable to successfully challenge the tradition of bureaucratic dominance over state affairs, was overshadowed by the executive branch. The National Assembly continued to be an instrument of cabinet rule, with its legislative agenda issuing for the most part from the executive branch.


Under the Constitution, the National Assembly was structured to accommodate both the military and civilian bureaucratic elite and the electorate. The influence of the traditionally powerful bureaucracy was channeled through the Senate, whose members were nominated by the prime minister for proforma appointment by the king. Up to 85 percent of the Senate membership in the late 1980s was drawn from the armed forces and the police. The intent of this arrangement was to encourage the military to play its traditional political role through the upper house rather than through a coup or counter-coup.

Senators served a term of six years, and one third of them were retired every two years. Retirees could be reappointed for an unlimited number of terms. A senator was required to be at least thirty-five years of age, a Thai citizen by birth, and not a member of any political party. Other membership qualifications were broadly phrased, including the requirement that appointees have “knowledge and experience in various branches of learning or affairs which will.be useful to the administration of the state.”

House of Representatives members represented the populace. They were elected for a four-year term by direct suffrage and secret ballot at the ratio of a member to each 150,000 inhabitants. Each province (changwat), regardless of population, was entitied to at least one seat. A constituency with a population in excess of 75,000 also qualified for a seat. A candidate had to be at least twenty-five years of age, a Thai citizen by birth, and a member of a political party. As a rule, an election had to be held within sixty days from the expiration of the four-year term of the lower house. When the House was dissolved by royal decree (on the recommendation of the prime minister), a new election was required within ninety days.

The two chambers conducted their business separately under their respective presidents (speakers) and vice presidents, who were chosen from among the membership. Under the Constitution, the president of the Senate was automatically the speaker of the National Assembly and in that capacity was empowered to play a strategic role in the selection of the prime minister.

In the 1980s, lower house members demanded that their president, rather than the president of the upper house, have a decisive role in the process of selecting the prime minister. This policy was necessary, they said, because the House of Representatives, not the military-dominated Senate, collectively represented the will of the electorate. A bill to amend the Constitution to make the lower house speaker the president of the National Assembly was introduced in 1986 but failed to pass.

In 1987 the customary role of the Senate as a major vehicle for the power of the bureaucracy and a counterweight to the elective lower house remained little changed, even though its stature seemed to have diminished somewhat after April 1983. At that time, certain senatorial powers granted under temporary clauses of the Constitution expired despite the army’s efforts to have these clauses extended.

Under these clauses, the Senate had had the power to deliberate jointly with the lower chamber on annual appropriation bills, on “an important bill relating to the security of the Kingdom, the Throne, or the national economy,” and the power to vote on no-confidence motions. The army and its political allies in parliament failed to have the clauses extended because of factious squabbles. If they had succeeded, the military’s political power would have been enhanced greatly.

The lapse of the transitory provisions, however, did not affect the Senate’s power to address such matters as the appointment of a regent, the royal succession, reconsideration of a bill vetoed by the prime minister, constitutional interpretation, a declaration of war, the ratification of treaties, the appointment of members of the Constitutional Tribunal, and constitutional amendments. In joint sessions senators also could render their opinion on any aspect of affairs of state to the prime minister when requested to do so by the latter. Such opinion was advisory and nonbinding.

Bills could be introduced only by the Council of Ministers or the members of the House of Representatives. Major legislation originated mostly in the cabinet, but only the lower house, with the prior endorsement of the prime minister, could initiate an appropriations bill. An ordinary bill had to be sponsored by a political party and endorsed by at least twenty party members. Bills were passed by a majority, the quorum being not less than one-half of the total members of either house in which the bills originated.

A bill passed by the House was sent to the Senate. The Senate was required to act on an ordinary bill within ninety days and on an appropriations bill within sixty days. If the Senate failed to act in either case, the bill was considered to have been consented to by the Senate, unless the lower chamber had extended the time. Disagreements between the two houses were resolved by a joint committee. When the dispute pertained to an appropriations bill and the lower house voted to reaffirm the bill it had originally passed, the prime minister was required to present the bill to the king for his assent and promulgation. At that point, the prime minister could exercise his important legislative role. He might advise the king to approve or veto the bill; in the latter event, the National Assembly needed two-thirds of its total membership to override the royal objections (actually the prime minister’s objections).

Members of the assembly, who had parliamentary immunity, could question formally a cabinet minister or the prime minister on any appropriate issue except one in which executive privilege was involved. A motion of no-confidence against either an individual minister or the cabinet en masse could be initiated only by members of the lower house. Such a motion required an affirmative vote of at least one-half of the lower house membership. Senators could not take part in no-confidence debates.

Advertisement



Thai Covid-19
4,026
Confirmed
18
Confirmed (24h)
60
Deaths
0
Deaths (24h)
1.5%
Deaths (%)
3,822
Recovered
11
Recovered (24h)
94.9%
Recovered (%)
144
Active
3.6%
Active (%)
In Thailand, the health authorities reported 18 new corona infections by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration within 24 hours. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CFCSA has counted a total of 4,026 infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Thailand. The number of deaths related to the virus rose 0 to a total of 60.

HM King Bhumibol Royal Jazz Composition

HM King Rama IX Royal Composition

Thailand

koh yao1000x600 koh yao1000x600
Southern Thailand23 hours ago

Ko Yao Expat Travel Guide

Ko Yao, with Phuket to the west and Krabi to the east Ko Yao (เกาะยาว), sometimes written Koyao, is a...

Chumphon1000x600 Chumphon1000x600
Southern Thailand23 hours ago

Chumphon Expat Travel Guide

Chumphon (ชุมพร) is a city and a province of the same name on the Central Gulf Coast of Southern Thailand....

huahin1000x600 huahin1000x600
Central Thailand2 days ago

Hua Hin Cha-am Expat Travel Guide

Hua Hin Travel Guide Hua Hin is a district in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province of Thailand, 295 kilometers from...

Ko Si Chang1000x600 Ko Si Chang1000x600
Central Thailand2 days ago

Ko Si Chang Expat Travel Guide

Ko Si Chang (เกาะสีชัง) is a small island, population 4,500, near Si Racha and near Pattaya. Understand In the Gulf of Thailand,...

khaolak1000x600 khaolak1000x600
Southern Thailand2 days ago

Khao Lak Expat Travel Guide

Khao Lak (เขาหลัก) is a 20 km long strip of coastal resorts in Phang Nga Province on the Andaman Sea...

Chaiyaphum1000x600 Chaiyaphum1000x600
Northeast Thailand2 days ago

Chaiyaphum Expat Travel Guide

Chaiyaphum (ชัยภูมิ) is a town in Isaan, Thailand. Understand Chaiyaphum is a place where many periods of civilization have overlapped...

Nakhon Nayok1000 Nakhon Nayok1000
Central Thailand2 days ago

Nakhon Nayok Expat Travel Guide

Nakhon Nayok (นครนายก) is a city in the Chao Phraya Basin region of Thailand. Understand Nakhon Nayok is a tourism...

chiangmai1000x600 chiangmai1000x600
Thailand2 days ago

Chiang Mai Expat Travel Guide

Thailand doesn’t only need to be about beaches and nightlife; Chiang Mai, the cultural centre of the north of the...

kochang1000x600 kochang1000x600
Central Thailand2 days ago

Ko Chang Covid-19 Safe Travel Trat Thailand

Ko Chang (เกาะช้าง) is an island in Trat Province, Eastern Thailand. Understand Ko Chang is Thailand’s second largest island, and the biggest in...

ko lanta1000x600 ko lanta1000x600
Southern Thailand2 days ago

Ko Lanta Expat Travel Guide

Ko Lanta (เกาะลันตา) is an island off the Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand. Like many other destinations in Krabi Province,...

kalasin1000x600 kalasin1000x600
Northeast Thailand2 days ago

Kalasin Expat Travel Guide

Kalasin (กาฬสินธุ์) is a town in the Isaan region of Thailand, population ~38,000 (2020). Understand Historical evidence points to the...

nonthaburi1000x600 nonthaburi1000x600
Central Thailand2 days ago

Nonthaburi Expat Travel Guide

Nonthaburi (นนทบุรี) is Thailand's second largest city, being a part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. Understand Due to its close...

Central Thailand2 days ago

Pattaya Expat Travel Guide

The City of Pattaya on the East coast of the Gulf of Thailand is a self-governing region about 165km Southeast...

Southern Thailand2 days ago

Ko Phayam Expat Travel Guide

Ko Phayam is an island in Ranong Province, Thailand. Contents 1 Understand 2 Get in 2.1 Ferries 3 Get around...

Maha-Sarakham1000x600 Maha-Sarakham1000x600
Northeast Thailand2 days ago

Maha Sarakham Safe Expat Travel Guide

Maha Sarakham (มหาสารคาม, also spelt Mahasarakham) is a city and province in Isaan. Understand Maha Sarakham means "city of great...

phatum1000x600 phatum1000x600
Central Thailand2 days ago

Pathum Thani Safe Covid-19 Travel Bangkok

Pathum Thani (ปทุมธานี) is a city in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region in Thailand. Understand Pathum Thani has been a residential...

Central Thailand2 days ago

Bangkok Expat Travel Guide

Bright lights, big city, where tradition merges effortlessly with the megalopolis that Thailand’s capital has become, be prepared to be...

yasothorn1000x600 yasothorn1000x600
Northeast Thailand2 days ago

Yasothon Expat Travel Guide

Yasothon (ยโสธร) is a town and province in the Isaan region of Thailand. Understand Get in By car Use Hwy...

rangsit1000x600 rangsit1000x600
Central Thailand2 days ago

Rangsit Expat Travel Guide

Rangsit (รังสิต) is an exurb 40 km north of Bangkok. Understand Memorial Hall, Wat Dhammakaya Effectively a suburb of Bangkok, Rangsit...

Thailand2 days ago

Koh Samui Expat Travel Guide

Nestled on the east coast of Thailand in the Gulf of Thailand, lies Koh Samui which has become known as...

Similan Islands1000x600 Similan Islands1000x600
Southern Thailand2 days ago

Similan Islands Expat Travel Guide

The most famous rock at the Similan Islands of Thailand. This beach and viewpoint are often visited by Similan diving...

wattatphanom1000x600 wattatphanom1000x600
Northeast Thailand2 days ago

Mukdahan Covid-Expat Travel Guide

Mukdahan (มุกดาหาร) is a city and province in Isaan. Understand Mukdahan is the 73rd province of Thailand. Its history dates...

Samut Prakan1000x600 Samut Prakan1000x600
Central Thailand2 days ago

Samut Prakan Expat Travel Guide

Samut Prakan (Thai: สมุทรปราการ) is a town in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region in Thailand. Understand Samut Prakan, also known as...

Central Thailand2 days ago

Rayong Expat Travel Guide

Rayong province is situated to the North of the Gulf of Thailand, bordered by Chon Buri and Chantaburi. It consists...

trat1000x600 trat1000x600
Central Thailand2 days ago

Trat Expat Travel Guide

Trat (ตราด) is the capital of Trat Province, Eastern Thailand. Understand Trat is on the Cambodian border in southeastern Thailand. Some travellers will...

Advertisement

Visitor’s Today

Free counters!