Cabinet of Thailand

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The Cabinet of Thailand or, formally, the Council of Ministers of Thailand (Thai: คณะรัฐมนตรี; RTGS: Khana Ratthamontri) is a body composed of thirty-five of the most senior members of the government of the Kingdom of Thailand. The Cabinet is the primary organ of the executive branch of the Thai government. Members of the Cabinet are nominated by the Prime Minister and formally appointed by the King of Thailand. Most members are government department heads with the title of "Minister of State" (Thai: รัฐมนตรี; RTGS: Ratthamontri). The Cabinet is chaired by the Prime Minister of Thailand. The Cabinet is often collectively called "the Government" or "the Royal Thai Government".

History[edit]

Prior to the Revolution of 1932, the absolutist Chakri Kings ruled Siam through a series of "Krom" (Thai: กรม) and "Senabodi" (Thai: เสนาบดี).[1] On the 15 April 1874 King Chulalongkorn founded the King's Privy Council (Thai: สภาที่ปรึกษาในพระองค์) (which still exists today) made up of 49 senior Princes and officials. For the first time the Kings of Siam exercised his powers through a council.

On the 14 July 1925 King Prajadhipok formed the Supreme Council of State of Siam (Thai: อภิรัฐมนตรีสภา; RTGS: Aphiratthamontrisapha) made up of 5 senior Princes (all of them his brothers and all of them Ministers of State) to help govern the country. However after the Revolution in 1932, the Khana Ratsadon decided to dissolve this council. Instead the New constitution created a direct precursor of the Cabinet called: the People’s Committee of Siam (Thai: คณะกรรมการราษฎร; RTGS: Khana Kammakan Ratsadon) led by a President. The Privy Council from then on became a royal advisory council.

With the promulgating of "Permanent" Constitution at the end of that year; the name of the committee was changed to the "Council of Ministers" and the name of the chair to Prime Minister. After King Prajadhipok deemed the old names to communistic. The first Cabinet of Thailand was led by Phraya Manopakorn Nititada. All government departments and agencies were then immediately transferred to its control. There have so far been 58 Cabinets of Thailand.

Ministers of State[edit]

First Cabinet of Plaek Pibulsonggram or the Ninth Cabinet of Siam, active from 16 December 1938 – 7 March 1942.

Qualifications[edit]

Government House in 2009, the meeting place and office of the Cabinet

According to the 2007 Constitution the Cabinet is restricted to no more than 35 Members. Members of the cabinet unlike that of the Prime Minister does not need to be a member of the House of Representatives, however most of them often are. To be eligible to be a minister an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a Thai national by birth.
  • Being older than thirty-five years of age.
  • Having graduated with not lower than a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • Not be a member of the Senate (former Senators must wait 2 years after term to be eligible)

The individual must also: not be addicted to drugs, not having been bankrupt, not a monk or a member of the clergy, not be disenfranchised, not be mentally infirm, not be under indictment or conviction, not having been expelled by a state agency for corruption or incompetence, not be a paid civil servant or member of the judiciary and not ever been removed from any office by the Senate of Thailand.

Ministers of State are in theory appointed by the King, however in truth they are appointed at the advice of the Prime Minister to the King. Before taking office, a Minister must make a solemn declaration before the King in the following words:

"I, (name of the declarer), do solemnly declare that I will be loyal to the King and will faithfully perform my duties in the interests of the country and of the people. I will also uphold and observe the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand in every respect."

Roles[edit]

The 2007 Constitution of Thailand calls the Cabinet: the Council of Ministers, the entire IXth Chapter is dedicated to it. Out of the 35 Ministers there are only 20 Cabinet Ministries; which means that 15 Ministers are without portfolios, they however can be appointed Deputy Prime Ministers or Deputy Ministers. According to the Constitution the Cabinet must within fifteen days of being sworn-in state its policies to the National Assembly of Thailand. The Ministers have the right to go in person to the National Assembly to state and explain his policies or opinions.

The Minister is responsible for his actions and the actions of his department and is therefore accountable to the National Assembly. Therefore the Assembly can compel the Minister to appear before it and explain his actions. The House of Representatives and the Senate can forcefully remove a sitting Minister by a vote of no confidence. A one-sixth of the chamber vote is needed to call a debate and a simple-majority is required for removal. A Minister can also be removed by the King at the advice of the Prime Minister.

The Cabinet[edit]

Function[edit]

As the primary government institution in the executive branch, the Cabinet is ultimately responsible for the administration and management of various government agencies and departments. It is also the primary institution for the formulation of policies with regards to all areas of politics and governing. Legislatively the Cabinet is one of the institutions allowed to submit bills to the National Assembly for consideration. The Cabinet is also allowed to call a joint sitting of the National Assembly to consider important bills or even join a joint sitting of the Assembly. The Cabinet is also allowed to call a national referendum.

The Cabinet is governed by the rule of collective responsibility, in which the members of the Cabinet must support all policies despite personal or private disagreement. As a result if the government fails or if the policies of the government fails then the entire Cabinet must take responsibility; and resign in its entirety. The Cabinet’s term is infused with that of the Prime Minister. The Leader of the Opposition is allowed to create his own Cabinet or the Shadow Cabinet of Thailand.

Present Cabinet[edit]

After Yingluck Shinawatra was appointed Prime Minister with effect on 5 August 2011, she handed in her cabinet list for endorsement on 9 August. Yingluck and her cabinet were sworn in at Siriraj Hospital where King Bhumibol Adulyadej resides, on 10 August.[2] On 18 January 2012, Yingluck reshuffled her cabinet, assigning six cabinet members to new posts, naming ten new ministers and deputies and dismissing nine members of the government.[3]

This cabinet listing is incomplete. On June 30, 2013, PM Yingluck reshuffled her cabinet for the fifth time. This resulted in more than 20 changes including dismissals, rearrangements and appointments.

Party key Pheu Thai Party
Chartthaipattana Party
Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party
Phalang Chon Party
Independent
Cabinet of Thailand[3]
Portfolio Minister Deputy Minister
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit (resigned 30 September 2012)
Deputy Prime Minister Pol. Capt Chalerm Yubamrung
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapha
Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong
Deputy Prime Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa
The Office of the Prime Minister Woravat Au-apinyakul
Nalinee Taweesin
Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan
Ministry of Interior Yongyuth Wichaidit Chuchat Hansawat
Thanit Thienthong
Ministry of Justice Pol. Gen Pracha Promnok
Ministry of Defence ACM Sukampol Suwannathat
Ministry of Finance Kittiratt Na-Ranong Tanusak Lek-uthai
Wirun Techapaiboon
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Surapong Towijakchaikul
Ministry of Social Development and Human Security Santi Prompat
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Theera Wongsamut Nattawut Saikua
Ministry of Transport Charupong Ruangsuwan Pol. Lt Gen Chat Kuldilok
Chadchart Sittipunt
Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment Preecha Rengsomboonsuk
Ministry of Information and Communication Technology Grp Cpt Anudith Nakornthap
Ministry of Energy Arak Chonlathanont
Ministry of Commerce Boonsong Teriyapirom Phum Saraphol
Siriwat Kachornprasart
Ministry of Labour Padermchai Sasomsap
Ministry of Culture Sukumol Kunplome
Ministry of Science and Technology Dr. Plodprasop Suraswadi
Ministry of Education Suchart Thadathamrongvej Sakda Khongphet
Ministry of Public Health Witthaya Buranasiri Surawit Khonsomboon
Ministry of Industry MR Pongsavas Svasti
Ministry of Tourism and Sports Chumpol Silpa-archa

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glenn S., ed. (August 17, 2013). "เสนาบดี" (Dictionary). Royal Institute Dictionary - 1982. Thai-language.com. Retrieved 2013-08-03. "เสนาบดี /เส-นา-บอ-ดี/ [นาม] (การใช้: โบราณ) แม่ทัพ. [นาม] (การใช้: โบราณ) ข้าราชการชั้นผู้ใหญ่. [นาม] (การใช้: โบราณ) เจ้ากระทรวง. definition: secretary of state; minister; commander in chief" 
  2. ^ "Yingluck's govt locked in and ready", Bangkok Post, 10 August 2011, retrieved 9 Aug 2011 
  3. ^ a b "Yingluck: Reshuffle for suitability", Bangkok Post, 17 January 2012, retrieved 19 January 2012 

External links[edit]