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The cabinet of Thailand or, formally, the Council of Ministers of Thailand (Thai: คณะรัฐมนตรี; RTGSKhana 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 governmental department heads with the title of "minister of state" (Thai: รัฐมนตรี; RTGSRatthamontri). The cabinet is chaired by the Prime Minister of Thailand. The cabinet is often collectively called "the government" or "the Royal Thai Government".

HistoryEdit

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 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 14 July 1925 King Prajadhipok formed the Supreme Council of State of Siam (Thai: อภิรัฐมนตรีสภา; RTGSAphiratthamontrisapha) 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; RTGSKhana Kammakan Ratsadon) led by a president. The privy council from then on became a royal advisory council.

With the promulgation 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 too communistic. The first cabinet of Thailand was led by Phraya Manopakorn Nititada. All government departments and agencies were then immediately transferred to its control. To date there have been 58 cabinets of Thailand.

Ministers of StateEdit

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

QualificationsEdit

 
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 the prime minister, do not need to be a member of the House of Representatives, however most of them are. To be eligible to be a minister an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a Thai national by birth.
  • Be older than 35 years of age.
  • Have graduated with no less than a bachelor's degree or its equivalent.
  • Not be a member of the Senate (former senators must wait two years after their term of office to be eligible)

The individual must also: not be addicted to drugs, not have been bankrupt, not be a monk or a member of the clergy, not be disenfranchised, not be mentally infirm, not be under indictment or conviction, not have 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."

RolesEdit

The 2007 Constitution of Thailand calls the cabinet the "Council of Ministers". The entire IXth chapter is dedicated to it. There are only 20 cabinet ministries, which means that 15 ministers are without portfolio. They can, however, 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. Ministers have the right to go in person to the national assembly to state and explain policies or opinions.

Each 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 on the advice of the prime minister.

The CabinetEdit

FunctionEdit

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 wedded to that of the Prime Minister. The Leader of the Opposition is allowed to create his own cabinet or the Shadow Cabinet of Thailand.

Current Cabinet of ThailandEdit

The members of the current cabinet of Thailand headed by the Palang Pracharath Party lawmaker Prayut Chan-o-cha as of 11 July 2019 are as follows:[2]

Office Incumbent
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan
Wissanu Krea-ngam
Somkid Jatusripitak
Anutin Charnvirakul
Jurin Laksanawisit
Minister to the Office of the Prime Minister Tewan Liptapanlop
Minister of Defence Prayut Chan-o-cha
Deputy Minister of Defence Chaichan Changmongkol
Minister of Interior Anupong Paochinda
Deputy Minister of Interior Nipon Bunyamanee
Songsak Thongsri
Minister of Finance Uttama Savanayon
Deputy Minister of Finance Santi Promphat
Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai
Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakan
Minister of Social Development and Human Security Juti Krairiksh
Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Chalermchai Sri-on
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Mananya Thaiset
Thammanat Prompao
Prapat Pothasuthon
Minister of Transport Saksiam Chidchob
Deputy Minister of Transport Thaworn Senniam
Athirat Ratanaset
Minister of Natural Resource and Environment Warawut Silpa-archa
Minister of Digital Economy and Society Puttipong Punnakanta
Minister of Energy Sontirat Sontijirawong
Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit
Deputy Minister of Commerce Weerasak Wangsupakitkosol
Minister of Justice Somsak Thepsuthin
Minister of Labour Chatumongol Sonakul
Minister of Culture Ittipol Khunplome
Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Suvit Maesincee
Minister of Education Nataphol Teepsuwan
Deputy Minister of Education Kalaya Sophonpanich
Kanokwan Wilawan
Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul
Deputy Minister of Public Health Satit Pitutacha
Minister of Industry Suriya Juangroongruangkit

Disclosure of interestEdit

2014 asset disclosuresEdit

In October 2014 Thailand's National Counter-Corruption Commission (NCCC) made public the assets of the prime minister and his cabinet. One-third of the ministers are worth more than 100 million baht.[citation needed]

The prime minister declared 128 million baht (US$4 million) in net assets and 645,754 baht (US$19,676) in debts. Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathon Devakula, the wealthiest cabinet member, declared 1,378 million baht (US$42 million) in assets with no debt. Next is Panadda Diskul, who runs the Office of the Prime Minister, who declared 1,315 million baht (US$40 million) in assets and no debt. The least wealthy cabinet member is Education Minister Narong Pipatanasai with 6.95 million baht (US$211,696) in assets and 2.92 million baht (US$88,000) in debt.[3]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Glenn S., ed. (2013-08-17). "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. ^ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/world-leaders-1/TH.html
  3. ^ "Assets of PM and Cabinet Revealed". Khaosod English. 2014-10-31. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-19.

External linksEdit