Prime Minister of Thailand

Prime Minister of Thailand
Prime Minister of Thailand
นายกรัฐมนตรีแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย
Flag of the Prime Minister of Thailand.svg
Standard of the Prime Minister
Incumbent
Yingluck Shinawatra

since 5 August 2011
Style Excellency
Appointer Bhumibol Adulyadej
as the King of Thailand
Term length Same as the term of the House of Representatives (4 years), no more than 8 consecutive years total
Inaugural holder Phraya Manopakorn Nititada
Formation Constitution of Thailand,
28 June 1932
Website www.pm.go.th
Thailand

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The Prime Minister of Thailand (Thai: นายกรัฐมนตรีแห่งราชอาณาจักรไทย; RTGS: Nayok Ratthamontri Haeng Ratcha-anachak Thai) is the head of government of Thailand. The Prime Minister is also the chairman of the Cabinet of Thailand. The post has existed since the Revolution of 1932, when the country became a constitutional monarchy.

The Prime Minister is appointed by a vote in the Thai House of Representatives by a simple majority, who is then officially sworn-in by the King of Thailand. The House's selection is usually based on the fact that either the prime minister is the leader of the largest political party in the lower house or the leader of the largest coalition of parties. In accordance with the constitution, the prime minister can only be appointed twice and is therefore limited to a maximum of two consecutive terms. The incumbent PM is Yingluck Shinawatra, leader of the Pheu Thai Party. She has held the position since 5 August 2011.

Contents

History

The office of the "President of the People’s Committee" (ประธานคณะกรรมการราษฎร), later changed to "Prime Minister of Siam" (นายกรัฐมนตรีสยาม), was first created in the Temporary Constitution of 1932. The office was modeled after the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, as Siam became a parliamentary democracy in 1932 after a bloodless revolution. However the idea of a separate head of government in Thailand is not new.

Prior to 1932 Thailand was ruled by absolute monarchs, who acted as both the head of state and the government. However during the middle and latter reigns of the Chakri Dynasty several individuals were perceived to hold a post equivalent to a head of government. During the reign of King Mongkut: Somdet Chao Phraya Si Suriyawongse, had a very significant role in an otherwise absolutist system. During the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Prince Damrong Rajanubhab took over this role. In fact the office most considered the precursor of that of the Prime Minister was the ancient office of Samuha Nayok (สมุหนายก), which was run by an Akkhra Maha Senabodi (อัครมหาเสนาบดี) or Chief Minister in charge of civilian affairs.

The first Prime Minister of Siam was Phraya Manopakorn Nititada, a judge. The title of the office changed from "Prime Minister of Siam" to "Prime Minister of Thailand" in 1945 and then permanently with the renaming of Siam to Thailand in 1949. For most of its existence the office has been occupied by Army leaders; fifteen out of twenty-seven. Beginning with the country's second Prime Minister: Phot Phahonyothin, who ousted his predecessor in a coup in 1933. The longest serving Prime Minister was Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram at 14 years, 11 months and 18 days. The shortest was Tawee Boonyaket at only just 18 days.[1] Nine were removed by coups d'état, two were disqualified by court order, and eleven resigned from office. The youngest ever to occupy office was M.R. Seni Pramoj at 40 years old. Thailand received its first female prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, in 2011. Every Prime Minister since Manopakorn Nititada has been Buddhist.

Appointment

The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand must be a member of the House of Representatives of Thailand.[2] Therefore the qualifications for the office is the same as the qualifications for the House.

To be appointed the nominee for the office must have the support of one-fifth of the members of the House of Representatives. Then after a simple-majority vote in the House, a resolution will be passed and submitted to the King of Thailand, who will then make a formal appointment by giving his royal assent to the resolution. This must be done within thirty days of the beginning of the first session of the House of Representatives after an election. If no candidate can be found within this time then it is the duty of the President of the National Assembly of Thailand to submit the name he considers most worthy for the King to formalize.

The nominee and eventual Prime Minister is always the leader of the largest political party in the lower house or the leader of the majority coalition formed after an election.

Office Name Party Vote in House Appointment
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Pheu Thai Party 5 August 2011 5 August 2011[3]

Function

The Prime Minister is the de facto chairman or chairwoman of the Cabinet of Thailand. The appointment and removal of Ministers can only be made with his or her advice. As the leader of the government the Prime Minister is therefore ultimately responsible for the failings and performance of his Ministers and the government as a whole. The Prime Minister cannot hold office for a consecutive period of more than eight years. As the most visible member of the government the Prime Minister represent the country abroad as well as the main spokesperson for the government at home. The Prime Minister must, under the constitution, lead the Cabinet in announcing the government's policy statement in front of a joint-session of the National Assembly, within fifteen days of being sworn-in.[4]

The Prime Minister is also directly responsible for many departments, these include: the National Intelligence Agency, the Bureau of the Budget, the Office of the National Security Council, the Office of the Council of State, the Office of the Civil Service Commission, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Office of Public Sector Development Commission and the Internal Security Operations Command. Legislatively all money bills introduced in the National Assembly must require the Prime Minister's approval.

The Prime Minister can be removed by a vote of no confidence. This process can be evoked, firstly with the vote of only one-fifth of the members of the House of Representatives for a debate on the matter. Then after the debate a vote will be taken and with a simple majority the Prime Minister can be removed. This process cannot be repeated within one parliamentary session.

Office and Residence

The Prime Minister is aided in his/her work by the Office of the Prime Minister (สำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี) a Cabinet level Department headed usually by two Minister of State. These offices are housed in the Government House of Thailand (ทำเนียบรัฐบาล) in the Dusit area of Bangkok.

Office Name Party Appointment
Minister to the Office of the Prime Minister Surawit Khonsomboon Pheu Thai Party 9 August 2011
Minister to the Office of the Prime Minister Kritsana Seehalak Pheu Thai Party 9 August 2011
Secretary to the Prime Minister Bunthoon Supakkawanich Pheu Thai Party 9 August 2011

The official residence of the Prime Minister is Phitsanulok Mansion (บ้านพิษณุโลก) at the center of Bangkok. The Mansion was built during the reign of King Vajiravudh, it became an official residence in 1979. The Mansion is however rumored to have many ghosts[citation needed], therefore most Prime Ministers live at their own private residences and only use the house for official business.

Deputy Prime Minister

Several Deputy Prime Ministers of Thailand (รองนายกรัฐมนตรี) can be appointed. This position can be combined with other ministerial portfolios. Currently there are five deputy Prime Ministers.[5]

Office Name Party Appointment Other offices
Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit Pheu Thai Party 9 August 2011 Minister of the Interior
Deputy Prime Minister Police Captain Chalerm Yubamrung Pheu Thai Party 9 August 2011
Deputy Prime Minister Police General Kowit Wattana Pheu Thai Party 9 August 2011
Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong non-partisan 9 August 2011 Minister of Commerce
Deputy Prime Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa Chart Thai Pattana Party 9 August 2011 Minister of Tourism and Sports

List of Prime Ministers

The Standard of the Prime Minister of Thailand

Living former Prime Ministers

Name Term of office Date of birth Political party
Tanin Kraivixien 1976-1977 5 April 1927 (1927-04-05) (age 84) non-partisan
Prem Tinsulanonda 1980-1988 26 August 1920 (1920-08-26) (age 91) Military
Anand Panyarachun 1991-1992, 1992 9 August 1932 (1932-08-09) (age 79) non-partisan
Suchinda Kraprayoon 1992 6 August 1933 (1933-08-06) (age 78) Military
Chuan Leekpai 1992-1995; 1997-2001 28 July 1938 (1938-07-28) (age 73) Democrat Party
Banharn Silpa-archa 1995-1996 19 August 1932 (1932-08-19) (age 79) Thai Nation Party
Chavalit Yongchaiyudh 1996-1997 15 May 1932 (1932-05-15) (age 79) New Aspiration Party
Thaksin Shinawatra 2001-2006 26 July 1949 (1949-07-26) (age 62) Thai Rak Thai
Surayud Chulanont 2006-2008 28 August 1943 (1943-08-28) (age 68) non-partisan (Military)
Somchai Wongsawat 2008 31 August 1947 (1947-08-31) (age 64) People's Power Party
Abhisit Vejjajiva 2008-2011 3 August 1964 (1964-08-03) (age 47) Democrat Party

See also

References

External links


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