Constitution of Thailand (2007)/Chapter 9

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Constitution of Thailand (2007)
Chapter 9 : The Council of Ministers

CHAPTER 9 : THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS[edit]

Section 171. The King appoints the Prime Minister and not more than thirty-five other Ministers to constitute the Council of Ministers having the duties to carry out the administration of the State affairs in accordance with the collective responsibility principle. The Prime Minister must be a member of the House of Representatives appointed under section 172. The President of the House of Representatives shall countersign the Royal Command appointing the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister shall not hold office for a consecutive period of more than eight years.

Section 172. The House of Representatives shall complete its consideration and approval of the person suitable to be appointed as Prime Minister within thirty days as from the day the National Assembly is convoked for the first sitting under section 127. The nomination of a person who is suitable to be appointed as Prime Minister under paragraph one shall be endorsed by members of the House of Representatives of not less than onefifth of the total number of the existing members of the House. The resolution of the House of Representatives approving the appointment of a person as Prime Minister shall be passed by the votes of more than one-half of the total number of the existing members of the House of Representatives. The passing of the resolution in such case shall be by open votes.

Section 173. In the case where the period of thirty days as from the date the National Assembly is convoked for the first sitting of members of the House of Representatives has elapsed and no one has been approved for appointment as Prime Minister under section 172 paragraph three, the President of the House of Representatives shall, within fifteen days as from the lapse of such period, present the matter to the King for the issuance of a Royal Command appointing the person who has received the highest votes as Prime Minister.

Section 174. A Minister must possess the qualifications and must not be under any of the prohibitions as follows: (1) being of Thai nationality by birth; (2) being not less than thirty five years of age; (3) having graduated with not lower than a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent; (4) not being under any of the prohibitions under section 102 (1), (2), (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (9), (11), (12), (13) or (14); (5) having been discharged for a period of less than five years before the appointment after being sentenced by a judgment to imprisonment, except for an offence committed through negligence or a petty offence; (6) not being a senator or having been a senator whose membership has terminated for not more than two years up to the date of the appointment as Minister.

Section 175. 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.”

Section 176. The Council of Ministers which will assume the administration of the State affairs must, within fifteen days as from the date it takes office, state its policies to the National Assembly and explain its operations in accordance with the directive principles of fundamental State policies under section 75, provided that no vote of confidence shall be passed, and must thereafter prepare plans for the administration of the State affairs for the purpose of determining guidance on the discharge of official duties for each year under section 76. Before stating policies to the National Assembly under paragraph one, if there occurs a case of importance and necessary urgency which, if left delayed, will affect material benefits of the State, the Council of Ministers which has taken office may, for the time being, carry out such acts in so far as it is necessary.

Section 177. A Minister has the right to attend and give statements of fact or opinions at a sitting of the House and, in the case where the House of Representatives or the Senate passes a resolution requiring attendance at a sitting for any matter, is obliged to attend thereat, and privileges as provided in section 130 shall apply mutatis mutandis. At a sitting of the House of Representatives, if any Minister is simultaneously also a member of the House, that Minister shall not cast a vote on a matter connected with the holding of office, the performance of duties or the having of any interest in such matter.

Section 178. Ministers shall carry out the administration of the State affairs in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, laws and the policies stated under section 176, and shall be responsible individually to the House of Representatives for the performance of their duties and also be responsible

collectively to the National Assembly for general policies of the Council of Ministers.

Section 179. In the case where there is an important problem in the administration of the State affairs in regard to which the Council of Ministers deems it advisable to take opinion of members of the House of Representatives and senators, the Prime Minister may give a notice to the President of the National Assembly requesting that a general debate be held at a joint sitting of the National Assembly. In such case, no resolution shall be passed by the National Assembly on the issue put in the debate.

Section 180. Ministers vacate office en masse upon: (1) the termination of ministership of the Prime Minister under section 182; (2) the expiration of the term or the dissolution of the House of Representatives; (3) the resignation of the Council of Ministers. In the case where the ministership of the Prime Minister terminates under section 182 (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (7) or (8), the procedure under section 172 and section 173 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 181. The outgoing Council of Ministers shall remain in office for performing duties until the newly appointed Council of Ministers takes office; but, in the case of the vacation of office under section 180 (2), the Council of Ministers and Ministers may perform duties only to the extent of necessity, subject to the following conditions: (1) there shall not be taken any act which is, in nature, the exercise of the power to appoint or transfer Government officials holding permanent positions or receiving permanent salaries or officials of State agencies, State enterprises or undertakings of which the majority of shares are held by the State or dismiss such persons from the performance of duties or from office or instruct others to perform duties in replacement, unless upon prior approval by the Election Commission; (2) there shall not be taken any act which has the effect of approving any disbursement of reserved funds available for cases of emergency or necessity, unless upon prior approval by the Election Commission; (3) there shall not be taken any act which has the effect of approving any work or project or of creating binding commitment upon the subsequent Council of Ministers; (4) there shall not be any exploitation of State resources or State personnel for any act having impacts on an election and there shall not be committed any act which is, in nature, a violation of prohibitions in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Election Commission.

Section 182. The ministership of an individual Minister terminates upon: (1) death; (2) resignation; (3) having been sentenced by a judgment to a term of imprisonment irrespective of the finality of the case or a suspension of the punishment, except for a non-final case or a suspension of the punishment in an offence committed through negligence or a petty offence or an offence of defamation; (4) the passing of a vote of no-confidence by the House of Representatives under section 158 or section 159; (5) being disqualified or being under any of the prohibitions under section 174; (6) the issuance of a Royal Command removing ministership under section 183; (7) having done an act prohibited by section 267, section 268 or section 269; (8) being removed from office by a resolution of the Senate under section 274. Apart from the circumstances resulting in the termination of the ministership in an individual capacity under paragraph one, the ministership of the Prime Minister also terminates upon the expiration of the time under section 171 paragraph four. The provisions of section 91 and section 92 shall apply to the termination of the ministership under (2), (3), (5) or (7) or paragraph two and, for this purpose, the Election Commission may refer the matter to the Constitutional Court for decision thereon.

Section 183. The King has the prerogative to remove a Minister from his or her office upon the advice of the Prime Minister.

Section 184. For the purpose of maintaining national or public safety or national economic security, or averting public calamity, the King may issue an Emergency Decree which shall have the force as an Act. The issuance of an Emergency Decree under paragraph one shall be made only when the Council of Ministers is of the opinion that it is the case of emergency and necessary urgency which is unavoidable. In the next succeeding sitting of the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers shall submit the Emergency Decree to the National Assembly for its consideration without delay. If it is out of session and it would be a delay to wait for the opening of an ordinary session, the Council of Ministers must proceed to convoke an extraordinary session of the National Assembly in order to consider whether to approve or disapprove the Emergency Decree without delay. If the House of Representatives disapproves it or approves it but the Senate disapproves it and the House of Representatives reaffirms its approval by the votes of not more than one-half of the total number of the existing members of the House, the Emergency Decree shall lapse; provided that it shall not affect any act done during the enforcement of such Emergency Decree. If the Emergency Decree under paragraph one has the effect of amending or repealing any provisions of any Act and such Emergency Decree has lapsed in accordance with paragraph three, the provisions of the Act in force before the amendment or repeal shall continue to be in force as from the day the disapproval of such Emergency Decree is effective. If the House of Representatives and the Senate approve the Emergency Decree, or if the Senate disapproves it but the House of Representatives reaffirms its approval by the votes of more than one-half of the total number of the existing members of the House, such Emergency Decree shall continue to have the force as an Act. The Prime Minister shall cause the approval or disapproval of the Emergency Decree to be published in the Royal Gazette. In case of disapproval, it shall be effective as from the day following the date of its publication in the Royal Gazette. The consideration of an Emergency Decree by the House of Representatives and the Senate in case of reaffirmation of the Emergency Decree must take place at the first opportunity when such Houses hold their sittings.

Section 185. Before the House of Representatives or the Senate approves an Emergency Decree under section 184 paragraph three, members of the House of Representatives or senators of not less than one-fifth of the total number of the existing members of each House have the right to submit an opinion to the President of the House of which they are members that the Emergency Decree is not in accordance with section 184 paragraph one or paragraph two, and the President of that House shall then, within three days as from the receipt thereof, refer it to the Constitutional Court for decision. After the Constitutional Court has given a decision thereon, it shall notify its decision to the President of the House referring such opinion. When the President of the House of Representatives or the President of the Senate has received the opinion from members of the House of Representatives or senators under paragraph one, the consideration of such Emergency Decree shall be deferred until the decision of the Constitutional Court under paragraph one has been notified. In the case where the Constitutional Court decides that any Emergency Decree is not in accordance with section 184 paragraph one or paragraph two, such Emergency Decree shall not have the force of law ab initio. The decision of the Constitutional Court that an Emergency Decree is not in accordance with section 184 paragraph one or paragraph two must be given by votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of members of the Constitutional Court.

Section 186. If, during a session, it is necessary to have a law on taxes, duties or currency, which, in the interests of the State, requires an urgent and confidential consideration, the King may issue an Emergency Decree which shall have the force as an Act. The Emergency Decree issued under paragraph one must be submitted to the House of Representatives within three days as from the day following the date of its publication in the Government Gazette, and the provisions of 184 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 187. The King has the prerogative to issue a Royal Decree which is not contrary to the law.

Section 188. The King has the prerogative to declare and lift the martial law in accordance with the conditions and manner under the Martial Law. In the case where it is necessary to declare the martial law in a certain locality as a matter of urgency, the military authority may do so under the Martial Law.

Section 189. The King has the prerogative to declare war with the approval of the National Assembly. The approval resolution of the National Assembly must be passed by votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of the existing members of both Houses. During the expiration of the term or the dissolution of the House of Representatives, the Senate shall perform the function of the National Assembly in giving the approval under paragraph one, and the resolution shall be passed by votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of the existing senators.

Section 190. The King has the prerogative to conclude a peace treaty, armistice and other treaties with other countries or international organisations.

A treaty which provides for a change in the Thai territories or extraterrotorial areas over which Thailand has sovereign rights or has jurisdiction in accordance therewith or in accordance with international law or requires the enactment of an Act for the implementation thereof or has extensive impacts on national economic or social security or generates material commitments in trade, investment or budgets of the country, must be approved by the National Assembly. For this purpose, the National Assembly shall complete its consideration within sixty days as from the receipt of such matter. Prior to taking steps in concluding a treaty with other countries or international organisations under paragraph two, the Council of Ministers shall provide information and cause to be conducted public hearings and shall give the National Assembly explanations on such treaty. For this purpose, the Council of Ministers shall submit to the National Assembly a framework for negotiations for approval. When the treaty under paragraph two has been signed, the Council of Ministers shall, prior to the declaration of intention to be bound thereby, make details thereof publicly accessible and, in the case where the implementation of such treaty has impacts on the public or operators of small- or medium-sized enterprises, the Council of Ministers shall take steps in rectifying or remedying the impacts suffered by aggrieved persons in an expeditious, appropriate and fair manner. There shall be the law on the determination of procedures and methods for the conclusion of treaties having extensive impacts on national economic or social security or generating material commitments in trade or investment and the rectification and remedying of impacts suffered by persons in consequence of the implementation of such treaties, having regard to justice to persons

benefited and persons aggrieved by the implementation thereof as well as to general members of the public. In the case where there arises a problematic issue under paragraph two, the power to make the determination thereon shall be vested in the Constitutional Court and, for this purpose, the provisions of section 154 (1) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court.

Section 191. The King has the prerogative to grant a pardon.

Section 192. The King has the prerogative to remove titles and recall decorations.

Section 193. The King appoints and removes officials in the military service and civil service who hold the positions of Permanent Secretary of State, Director-General and their equivalents except in the case where they vacate office upon death.

Section 194. A Government official and a State official holding a permanent position or receiving a permanent salary and not being a political official shall not be a political official or hold other political position.

Section 195. All laws, Royal Rescripts and Royal Commands relating to the State affairs must be countersigned by a Minister unless otherwise provided in this Constitution. All laws which have been signed or deemed to have been signed by the King shall forthwith be published in the Royal Gazette.

Section 196. Emoluments and other remuneration of Privy Councillors, the President and Vice-Presidents of the House of Representatives, the President and Vice-Presidents of the Senate, Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives, members of the House of Representatives and senators shall be prescribed by the Royal Decree, wherein no payment shall be made before the date of taking office. Gratuities, pensions or other remuneration of Privy Councillors who vacate their office shall be prescribed by the Royal Decree.