Constitution of Thailand (2007)/Chapter 6

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Constitution of Thailand (2007)
Chapter 6 : The National Assembly

CHAPTER 6 : THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY[edit]

Part 1 : General Provisions[edit]

Section 88. The National Assembly consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Joint or separate sittings of the National Assembly shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives or a senator simultaneously.

Section 89. The President of the House of Representatives is President of the National Assembly. The President of the Senate is Vice-President of the National Assembly. In the case where there is no President of the House of Representatives, or the President of the House of Representatives is not present or is unable to perform his or her duties, the President of the Senate shall act as President of the National Assembly in his or her place. The President of the National Assembly shall have the powers and duties as provided in this Constitution and shall conduct the proceedings of the National Assembly at joint sittings in accordance with the rules of procedure. The President of the National Assembly and the person who acts as President of the National Assembly in his or her place shall be impartial in the performance of duties. The Vice-President of the National Assembly shall have the powers and duties as provided in this Constitution and as entrusted by the President of the National Assembly.

Section 90. An organic law bill or a bill may be enacted as law only by and with the advice and consent of the National Assembly and, when signed or deemed to have been signed by the King under this Constitution, shall be published in the Royal Gazette for further entry into force as law.

Section 91. Members of the House of Representatives or senators of not less than one-tenth of the total number of the existing members of each House have the right to lodge with the President of the House of which they are members a complaint asserting that the membership of any member of such House has terminated under section 106 (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (10) or (11) or section 119 (3), (4), (5), (7) or (8), as the case may be, and the President of the House with whom the complaint is lodged shall refer it to the Constitutional Court for decision as to whether the membership of such person has terminated. When the Constitutional Court has made a decision, it shall notify the President of the House with whom the complaint is lodged under paragraph one of such decision. In the case where the Election Commission is of the opinion that the membership of any member of the House of Representatives or of any senator has terminated under paragraph one, it shall refer the matter to the President of the House of which such member is a member, and the President of that House shall refer the matter to the Constitutional Court for a decision under paragraph one and paragraph two.

Section 92. The vacation of the office of a member of the House of Representatives or a senator after the day on which his or her membership terminates or the day on which the Constitutional Court decides that the membership of any member terminates does not affect any act done by such member in the capacity as member including the receipt of emolument or other remuneration by such member before he or she vacates office or the President of the House of which such person is a member has been notified of the decision of the Constitutional Court, as the case may be, except that in the case of the vacation of office on the ground of his or her being elected or selected in violation of the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators, emolument and other remuneration received from being in office shall be returned.

Part 2 : House of Representatives[edit]

Section 93. The House of Representatives consists of four hundred and eighty members, four hundred of whom are from the election on a constituency basis and eighty of whom are from the election on a proportional representation basis. The election of members of the House of Representatives shall be by direct suffrage and secret ballot and, for this purpose, one ballot card shall be used for each category of members of the House of Representatives. Rules and procedures for the election of members of the House of Representatives shall be in accordance with the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators. In the case where the office of a member of the House of Representatives becomes vacant for any reason and an election of a member of the House of Representatives has not been held to fill the vacancy, the House of Representatives shall consist of the existing members of the House. Subject to section 109 (2), in the case where there occurs, during the term of the House of Representatives, any cause resulting members elected from the election on a proportional representation basis being less than eighty in number, members from the election on a proportional representation basis shall consist of the existing members. In the case where, in any general election, there occurs any event resulting in members of the House of Representatives being less than four hundred and eighty in number but being not less than ninety five percent of the total number of members of the House of Representatives, it shall be deemed that members in such number duly form the House of Representatives, provided that action shall be taken for achieving such number of member of the House of Representatives as provided in this Constitution within one hundred and eighty days and such members shall hold office for the remaining term of the House or Representatives.

Section 94. In the election of members of the House of Representatives on a constituency basis, the person having the right to vote in a given constituency shall have the right to cast ballot for such number of candidates as the number of members of the House of Representatives allowable for that constituency. The calculation of the number of members of the House of Representatives for which each constituency shall have and the determination of constituencies shall be as follows: (1) The ratio of the number of inhabitants to one member shall be calculated by reference to the division of such number of inhabitants throughout the country as evidenced in the census announced in the year preceding the year of election by the number of four hundred members of the House of Representatives; (2) Any province with inhabitants below the number of inhabitants per one member under (1) shall have one member of the House of Representative. Any province with more inhabitants than the number of inhabitants per one member shall have an additional member of the House of Representatives for every such number of inhabitants as representing the number of inhabitants per one member. (3) Upon the number of members of the House of Representatives of each province being obtained under (2), if the number of members of the House of Representatives so calculated is still less than four hundred, any province with the largest fraction remaining from the determination under (2) shall have an additional member of the House of Representatives and the addition of the members of the House of Representatives in accordance with such procedure shall be made to provinces in respective order of fractions remaining from the determination under (2) until the number of four hundred members of the House is obtained; (4) The determination of a constituency shall be made in the following manner. Where any province is entitled to not more than three members of the House of Representatives, the area of that province shall be regarded as a constituency. But if any province is entitled to more than three members of the House of Representatives, the area of that province shall be divided into constituencies to the effect that each constituency shall have three members of the House of Representatives; (5) In the case where it is impossible to divide constituencies in a particular province to the effect that every constituency shall have three members of the House of Representatives, constituencies shall be divided in a manner of each constituency having three members of the House of Representatives first provided that the remaining constituencies shall have not less than two members. If any province is entitled to four members of the House of Representatives, constituencies shall be divided into two constituencies each of which shall have two members of the House of Representatives; (6) In a province which is divided into more than one constituency, the boundary of each constituency shall be adjoining and the number of inhabitants in each constituency must be closely apportioned. The counting of votes shall be conducted at a polling station and the result of the vote-counting of that polling station shall be furnished altogether to a constituency for the counting of the entire votes. Thereafter, the result of the vote-counting shall be announced publicly at any single place in that constituency as designated by the Election Commission, except that in the case where necessity arises in a particular locality, the Election Commission may determine that the vote-counting, the summation of the vote-counting and the announcement of the result of the vote-counting shall be conducted otherwise, in accordance with the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators.

Section 95. The election of members of the House of Representatives on a proportional representation basis shall be conducted by reference to party-lists prepared by political parties and, for this purpose, a voter in any constituency shall have the right to cast only one vote for a political party having prepared the list of candidates in that constituency. Each political party may send candidates, in the election on a proportional representation basis, for all constituencies or for only some constituencies. With respect to a list of candidates standing in the election on a proportional representation basis as submitted by a political party, if it appears that, prior to or on the election day, there exists any cause whatsoever resulting in the list of that political party having the number of candidates standing in the election on a proportional representation basis being less than the number having been submitted by that political party, it shall be deemed that the list of that political party has the existing number of candidates standing in the election on a proportional representation basis, and in this case, it shall be deemed that the House of Representatives consists of existing members.

Section 96. The determination of constituencies for the election of members of the House of Representatives on a proportional representation basis shall be as follows: (1) the area of the entire country shall be divided into eight groups of provinces, provided that each group of provinces shall be regarded as a constituency and each constituency shall have ten members of the House of Representatives; (2) in grouping provinces, those provinces of adjoining areas shall be in the same group and every group shall have a close total number of inhabitants as evidenced in the census announced in the year preceding the year of election, provided that the entire province shall fall within one constituency.

Section 97. The preparation of a list of candidates of a political party for the election of members of the House of Representatives on a proportional representation basis shall be as follows. (1) A list of candidates in each constituency shall contain names of candidates in a full number equal to the number of members of the House of Representatives on a proportional representation basis allowable for each constituency, such names being placed in a numerical order, and the list shall then be submitted to the Election Commission prior to the opening date for receiving applications for candidacy in the election on a constituency basis. (2) The names of persons listed under (1) shall not be duplicated by names of candidates both in the constituency category and in the proportional representation category of any political party and regard shall be had to appropriate opportunities and proportions as well as the equality between men and women.

Section 98. In calculating the proportion in which candidates in a list of each political party shall be elected in each constituency, all votes which each political party has obtained in that constituency shall be summed up altogether and shall be calculated in order to have the number of elected candidates for each political party in direct proportion to the votes hitherto summed up, the votes obtained by each political party and the number of members of the House of Representatives on a proportional representation basis allowable for that constituency. For this purpose, the candidates whose names are listed in the list of each political party shall be elected in accordance with the votes so calculated and the numerical order in which they are placed in the list of that political party, provided that all this shall be in accordance with the rules and procedures provided in the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators. The provisions of section 94 paragraph three shall apply to the counting of votes in the election of members of the House of Representatives on a proportional representation basis mutatis mutandis and, for this purpose, the Election Commission may direct that a preliminary summation of the result of the vote-counting be first conducted at a Province.

Section 99. A person having the following qualifications has the right to vote at an election: (1) being of Thai nationality; provided that a person who has acquired Thai nationality by naturalisation must hold the Thai nationality for not less than five years; (2) being not less than eighteen years of age on 1st January of the year of the election; and (3) having his or her name appear on the house register in the constituency for not less than ninety days up to the election day. A voter who has a residence outside the constituency within which his or her name appear in the house register, or who has his or her name appear in the house register in the constituency for the period of less than ninety days up to the election day, or who has a residence outside the Kingdom of Thailand shall have the right to cast ballot in an election in accordance with rules, procedures and conditions provided by the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators.

Section 100. A person under any of the following prohibitions on the election day is disfranchised: (1) being a Buddhist priest, novice, monk or clergy; (2) being under suspension of the right to vote; (3) being detained by a warrant of the Court or by a lawful order; (4) being of unsound mind or of mental infirmity.

Section 101. A person having the following qualifications has the right to be a candidate in an election of members of the House of Representatives: (1) being of Thai nationality by birth; (2) being not less than twenty five years of age on the election day; (3) being a member of any and only one political party for a consecutive period of not less than ninety days up to the election day, except that in the case where a general election takes place as a consequence of the dissolution of the House of Representatives such person must be a member of any and only one political party for a consecutive period of not less than thirty days up to the election day; (4) a candidate in an election on a constituency basis shall also possess any of the following qualifications: (a) having his or her name appear in the house register in a province where he or she stands for election for a consecutive period of not less than five years up to the date of applying for candidacy; (b) being born in a province where he or she stands for election; (c) having studied in an educational institution situated in a province where he or she stands for election for a consecutive period of not less than five academic years; (d) having served in the official service or having had his or her name appear in the house register in a province where he or she stands for election for a consecutive period of not less than five years. (5) a candidate in an election on a proportional representation basis shall also possess any of the following qualifications under (4), provided that any of such qualification which refers to a province shall refer to a group of provinces; (6) other qualifications as provided in the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators.

Section 102. A person under any of the following prohibitions shall have no right to be a candidate in an election of members of the House of Representatives: (1) being addicted to drugs; (2) being a bankrupt or having been a fraudulent bankrupt; (3) being disfranchised under section 100 (1), (2) or (4); (4) being sentenced by a judgment to imprisonment and being detained by a warrant of the Court; (5) having been discharged for a period of less than five years on the election day after being sentenced by a judgment to imprisonment except for an offence committed through negligence or a petty offence; (6) having been expelled, dismissed or removed from the official service, a State agency or a State enterprise on the ground of dishonest performance of duties or corruption; (7) having been ordered by a judgement or an order of the Court that his or her assets devolve on the State on the ground of unusual wealthiness or an unusual increase of his or her assets; (8) being a Government official holding a permanent position or receiving a permanent salary except a political official; (9) being a member of a local assembly or a local administrator; (10) being a senator, or having been a senator with membership having terminated for not more than two years; (11) being an official or employee of a Government agency, a State agency, a State enterprise or other State official; (12) being a judge of the Constitutional Court, an Election Commissioner, an Ombudsman, a member of the National Counter Corruption Commission, a member of the State Audit Commission or a member of the National Human Rights Commission; (13) being under the prohibition from holding a political position under section 263; (14) having been removed from office by the resolution of the Senate under section 274.

Section 103. A political party sending candidates to stand for election in any constituency shall send candidates in a complete number of members of the House of Representatives allowable for that constituency and it is not permitted to send candidates in excess of such number. When any political party has sent candidates to stand for election in the complete number under paragraph one, if for any reason such number subsequently diminishes and fails to meet the complete number, it shall be deemed that that political party has sent candidates to stand for election in the complete number. When any political party has sent candidates to stand for election, that political party or the candidate for that political party may not withdraw candidacy or change candidates.

Section 104. The term of the House of Representatives is four years from the election day. During the term of the House of Representatives, there shall not be any merger political parties having members who are members of the House of Representatives.

Section 105. Membership of the House of Representatives commences on the election day.

Section 106. Membership of a member of the House of Representatives terminates upon: (1) expiration of the term or dissolution of the House of Representatives; (2) death; (3) resignation; (4) being disqualified under section 101; (5) being under any prohibition under section 102; (6) acting in contravention of any prohibition under section 265 or section 266; (7) resignation from membership of his or her political party or his or her political party passing a resolution, with the votes of not less than three-fourths of the joint meeting of the Executive Committee of that political party and members of the House of Representatives belonging to that political party, terminating his or her membership of the political party. In such case, his or her membership shall be deemed to have terminated as from the date of the resignation or the resolution of the political party except where such member of the House of Representatives appeals to the Constitutional Court within thirty days as from the date of the resolution of the political party for raising an objection that such resolution is of such nature as specified in section 65 paragraph three. If the Constitutional Court decides that the said resolution is not of the nature as specified in section 65 paragraph three, his or her membership shall be deemed to have terminated as from the date of the decision of the Constitutional Court. If the Constitutional Court decides that the said resolution is of such nature as specified in section 65 paragraph three, that member of the House of Representatives may become a member of another political party within thirty days as from the date of the decision of the Constitutional Court; (8) loss of membership of the political party in the case where the political party of which he or she is a member is dissolved by an order of the Constitutional Court and he or she is unable to become a member of another political party within sixty days as from the date on which the Constitutional Court issues its order. In such case, his or her membership shall be deemed to have terminated as from the day following the date on which such period of sixty days has elapsed; (9) the Senate passing a resolution under section 274 removing him or her from office or the Constitutional Court having a decision terminating his or her membership under section 91 or the Supreme Court of Justice having an order under section 239 paragraph two. In such case, his or her membership shall be deemed to have terminated as from the date on which the Senate passes a resolution or the Court has a decision or an order, as the case may be; (10) having been absent for more than one-fourth of the number of days in a session the length of which is not less than ninety days without permission of the President of the House of Representatives; (11) having been sentenced by a final judgment to a term of imprisonment irrespective of a suspension of the punishment, except for a suspension of the punishment in an offence committed through negligence or a petty offence or an offence of defamation.

Section 107. Upon the expiration of the term of the House of Representatives, the King will issue a Royal Decree calling for a general election of members of the House of Representatives in which the election day must be fixed within forty five days as from the date of the expiration of the term of the House of Representatives and the election day must be the same throughout the Kingdom.

Section 108. The King has the prerogative to dissolve the House of Representatives for a new election of members of the House. The dissolution of the House of Representatives shall be made in the form of a Royal Decree in which the day for a new general election must be fixed within the period of not less than forty five days but not more than sixty days as from the date of the dissolution of the House of Representatives and such election day must be the same throughout the Kingdom. The dissolution of the House of Representatives may be made only once under the same circumstance.

Section 109. When the office of member of the House of Representatives becomes vacant for any reason other than the expiration of the term or the dissolution of the House of Representatives, the following actions shall be taken: (1) in the case where the vacancy is that of the office of a member of the House of Representatives elected from the election on a constituency basis, an election of a member of the House of Representatives to fill the vacancy shall be held within forty five days as from the date of the vacancy unless the remainder of the term of the House of Representatives is less than one hundred and eighty days; (2) in the case where the vacancy is that of the office of a member of the House of Representatives elected from the election on a proportional representation basis, the President of the House of Representatives shall, by publication in the Royal Gazette within seven days as from the date of the vacancy, elevate the person whose name in the list of that political party is placed in the next order to be a replacing member of the House of Representatives, except that in the case where there remains no name in the list for the purpose of such elevation, the number of members of the House of Representatives in the proportional representation category shall be that of the existing members. Membership of the replacing member of the House of Representatives under (1) shall commence as from the day on which the election to fill the vacancy is held, while membership of the replacing member of the House of Representatives under (2) shall commence as from the day following the date of the publication of the name of the replacing member, and the replacing member of the House of Representatives may serve only for the remainder of the term of the House.

Section 110. After the Council of Ministers has assumed the administration of the State affairs, the King will appoint as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives a member of the House who is the leader of the political party having its members holding no ministerial positions and having the largest number of members amongst the political parties having their members holding no ministerial positions, provided that such number must not be less than one-fifth of the total number of members of the House of Representatives at the time of the appointment. In the case where no political party in the House of Representatives meets the condition as prescribed under paragraph one, the leader of the political party, who receives a majority of supporting votes from the members of the House who belong to the political parties having their members holding no ministerial positions, shall be the Leader of the Opposition in the House. In case of an equality of supporting votes, it shall be decided by lot. The President of the House of Representatives shall countersign the Royal Command appointing the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives.

The Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives shall vacate office upon being disqualified as specified in paragraph one or paragraph two, and section 124 paragraph four shall apply mutatis mutandis, and in such case, the King will appoint a new Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives to fill the vacancy.

Part 3 : The Senate[edit]

Section 111. The Senate shall consist of one hundred and fifty members to be elected from each province, one member being elected from each province, and to be selected in the number equivalent to the total number hitherto stated deducted by the number of elected senators. In the case of an increase or decrease of the number of provinces during the term of office of elected senators, the Senate shall consist of the remaining senators. In the case where the office of the senator becomes vacant for any reason whatsoever and an election or a selection, as the case may be, of a senator to fill the vacancy has not yet been held, the Senate shall consist of the remaining senators. In the case where there occurs any event resulting in the number of senators being lower than that specified in paragraph one but not lower than ninety five percent of the total number of senators, it shall be deemed that the Senate consists of such number of senators, provided that there shall be an election or selection in order to acquire the complete number of senators under paragraph one within one hundred and eighty days as from the date of such event, and the newly acquired senators shall hold office for the remaining term of the Senate.

Section 112. In an election of senators in each province, the area of the province shall be regarded as a constituency and there shall be one senator in each province; for this purpose, the person having the right to vote may cast one vote by direct suffrage and secret ballot. For the purpose of an election of senators, candidates may conduct a campaign only in connection with the performance of duties of senators. Rules, procedures and conditions for an election and a campaign of senators shall be in accordance with the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators.

Section 113. There shall be a Senators Selection Committee, consisting of the President of the Constitutional Court, the Chairman of the Election Commission, the Chairman of the State Audit Commission, a judge in the Supreme Court of Justice holding office not lower in rank than Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice as entrusted by the general assembly of the Supreme Court of Justice and a judge of the Supreme Administrative Court as entrusted by the general assembly of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court, as members, to be in charge of selecting persons under section 114 within thirty days as from the date of receipt of the list from the Election Commission and notifying the result of the selection to the Election Commission for announcing the selected persons as senators. The members under paragraph one shall elect one member amongst themselves as Chairman of the Committee. In the case where there is no member in any particular office or there is one but the person holding such office is unable to perform duties, the Senators Selection Committee shall, if the remaining members are not less than one half in number, consist of the remaining members.

Section 114. The Senators Selection Committee shall select suitable persons from those nominated by organisations in the academic sector, the public sector, the private sector, the professional sector and other sectors, who are of value to the performance of duties of senators as senators in the number equal to that to be achieved as specified in section 111 paragraph one. In the selection of persons under paragraph one, particular regard shall be had to the knowledge, expertise or experience beneficial to the performance of duties of senators, and regard shall also be had to factors in relation to persons with varying knowledge and capability in varying fields, sexual opportunities and equality, a close proportion of persons in each sector under paragraph one, and the provision of opportunities to the socially underprivileged persons. Rules, procedures and conditions for the selection of senators shall be in accordance with the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators.

Section 115. A person having the following qualifications and not being under the following prohibitions has the right to be a candidate in an election of senators or to be nominated for the selection of senators: (1) being of Thai nationality by birth; (2) being of not less than forty years of age on the date of applying for candidacy or the date of nomination; (3) having graduated with not lower than a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent; (4) a candidate for an election of senators shall also have any of the following qualifications: (a) having his or her name appear in the house register in a province where he or she stands for election for a consecutive period of not less than five years up to the date of applying for candidacy; (b) being born in a province where he or she stands for election; (c) having studied in an educational institution situated in a province where he or she stands for election for a consecutive period of not less than five academic years; (d) having served in the official service or having had his or her name appear in the house register in a province where he or she stands for election for a consecutive period of not less than five years; (5) not being an ascendant, a spouse or a son or daughter of a member of the House of Representatives or a person holding a political position; (6) not being a member or a holder of any position of a political party, or having been a member or a holder of any position of a political party, with membership or office having terminated for a period of not more than five years up to the date of applying for candidacy or the date of nomination; (7) not being a member of the House of Representatives, or having been a member of the House of Representatives with membership having terminated for the period of not more than five years up to the date of applying for candidacy or the date of nomination; (8) being disfranchised under section 102 (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (11), (12), (13) or (14); (9) not being a Minister or a person holding a political position other than a member of a local assembly or a local administrator, or having held such position and having vacated office for a period of not more than five years.

Section 116. A senator shall not be a Minister, a holder of other political position or a holder of a position in a constitutional independent organ. The person having held office of senator with membership having terminated for not more than two years, shall not be a Minister or a holder of other political position.

Section 117. Membership of an elected senator commences on the election day and membership of a selected senator commences on the date of the publication by the Election Commission of the result of the selection. Membership of a senator shall be for a term of six years as from the election day or the date of the publication by the Election Commission of the result of the selection, as the case may be. A senator may not hold office for more than one term consecutively. The senators whose membership terminates at the expiration of the term shall continue to be in office to perform duties until new senators are acquired.

Section 118. Upon expiration of the term of elected senators, the King will issue a Royal Decree calling for a new general election of senators in which the election day must be fixed within thirty days as from the date of the expiration of the term of elected senators and the election day must be the same throughout the Kingdom. Upon expiration of the term of selected senators, the Election Commission shall announce the date of commencement of the selection and the period for the selection of senators, which must be completed within sixty days as from the date of the expiration of the term of selected senators.

Section 119. Membership of a senator terminates upon: (1) expiration of the term of the Senate; (2) death; (3) resignation; (4) being disqualified or being under any of the prohibitions under section 115; (5) acting in contravention of any of the prohibitions under section 116, section 265 or section 266; (6) the Senate passing a resolution under section 274 removing him or her from office or the Constitutional Court having a decision terminating his or her membership under section 91 or the Supreme Court of Justice having an order under section 239 paragraph two or section 240 paragraph three; in such case, his or her membership shall be deemed to have terminated as from the date of the resolution of the Senate or of the decision or the order of the Court, as the case may be; (7) having been absent for more than one-fourth of the number of days in a session the length of which is not less than one hundred and twenty days without permission of the President of the Senate; (8) having been sentenced by a final judgment to a term of imprisonment irrespective of a suspension of the punishment, except for a suspension of the punishment in an offence committed through negligence or a petty offence or an offence of defamation.

Section 120. When the office of senator becomes vacant by reason of any circumstance under section 119, the provisions of section 112, section 113, section 114 and section 118 shall apply to an election or selection of senators in such case, and the ~ 64 ~ replacing senator may serve only for the remainder of the term of the replaced senator, except that if the remainder of the term of the senator whose office becomes vacant is less than one hundred and eighty days, the election or selection may be omitted.

Section 121. In considering any person for appointment to any position in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the Senate shall appoint a committee to be in charge of examining personal records, behaviours and ethical conduct of the person nominated for holding such position and gathering necessary facts and evidence for further reporting to the Senate and thereby assisting in its consideration. The performance of activities of the committee under paragraph one shall be in accordance with procedures prescribed in Rules of Procedure of the Senate.

Part 4 : Provisions Applicable to Both Houses[edit]

Section 122. Members of the House of Representatives and senators are representatives of the Thai people without being bound by any mandate, entrustment or dominance, and shall honestly perform the duties for common interests of the Thai people without any conflict of interests.

Section 123. Before taking office, a member of the House of Representatives and a senator shall make a solemn declaration at a sitting of the House of which he or she is a member in the following words: “I, (name of the declarer), do solemnly declare that I will perform my duties in accordance with the honest dictates of my conscience for the benefits of the country and the people. I will also uphold and observe the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand in every respect.”

Section 124. The House of Representatives and the Senate shall each have one President and one or two Vice- Presidents who are appointed by the King from the members of such House in accordance with its resolution. The President and the Vice-Presidents of the House of Representatives hold office until the expiration of the term or the dissolution of the House. The President and the Vice-Presidents of the Senate hold office until the day preceding the date of the election of the new President and Vice-Presidents. The President and the Vice-Presidents of the House of Representatives and the President and the Vice-Presidents of the Senate vacate office before the expiration of the term of office under paragraph two or paragraph three, as the case may be, upon: (1) loss of membership of the House of which he or she is a member; (2) resignation; (3) holding a position of Prime Minister, Minister or other political official; (4) 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. During office, the President and Vice-President of the House of Representatives may not be a member of an executive committee or hold any position in a political party simultaneously.

Section 125. The President of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate shall have the powers and duties to carry out the business of each House in accordance with its rules of procedure. The Vice-presidents have the powers and duties as entrusted by the President and act on behalf of the President when the President is not present or unable to perform his or her duties. The President of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate and the persons who act on behalf of the President shall be impartial in the performance of duties. When the President and the Vice-Presidents of the House of Representatives or the President and the Vice-Presidents of the Senate are not present at any sitting, the members of each House shall elect one amongst themselves to preside over such sitting.

Section 126. At a sitting of the House of Representatives or the Senate, the presence of not less than one-half of the total number of the existing members of each House is required to constitute a quorum, except that in the case of considering the agenda on an interpellation under section 156 and section 157, the House of Representatives and the Senate may otherwise prescribe a quorum in the rules of procedure. A resolution on any issue shall be made by a majority of votes, unless it is otherwise provided in this Constitution. In casting a vote, each member has one vote. In case of an equality of votes, the presiding member shall have an additional vote as a casting vote. The President of the National Assembly, the President of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate shall cause the voting of each member to be recorded and disclose such record in a place where the public entry for its inspection is possible, except for the case of the voting by secret ballot. The casting of votes to elect or give approval to a person for holding office shall be by secret ballot, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, and members shall have autonomy and shall not be bound by resolutions of their political parties or any other mandate.

Section 127. The National Assembly shall, within thirty days as from the date of the election of members of the House of Representatives, be summoned for the first sitting. Each year, there shall be a general ordinary session and a legislative ordinary session. The day on which the first sitting under paragraph one is held shall be considered as the first day of the general ordinary session, and the first day of the legislative ordinary session shall be fixed by the House of Representatives. In the case where the first sitting under paragraph one has less than one hundred and fifty days up to the end of a calendar year, the legislative ordinary session may be omitted in that year. During the legislative ordinary session, the National Assembly shall hold a sitting only in such cases as prescribed in Chapter 2 or in cases of the consideration of organic law bills or bills, the approval of an Emergency Decree, the approval of the declaration of war, the hearing of explanations and the approval of a treaty, the election or approval of a person for holding office, the removal of a person from office, the interpellation and the amendment of the Constitution, unless the National Assembly has passed a resolution, by the votes of more than one-half of the total number of the existing members of both Houses, for considering other matters.

An ordinary session of the National Assembly shall last one hundred and twenty days but the King may prolong it. An ordinary session may be prorogued before the end of one hundred and twenty days only with the approval of the National Assembly.

Section 128. The King convokes the National Assembly, opens and prorogues its session. The King may be present to perform the opening ceremony of the first general ordinary session under section 127 paragraph one or may command the Heir to the Throne who is sui juris or any person to perform the ceremony as His Representative. When it is necessary for the interests of the State, the King may convoke an extraordinary session of the National Assembly. Subject to section 129, the convocation, the prolongation of session and the prorogation of the National Assembly shall be made by a Royal Decree.

Section 129. Members of both Houses or members of the House of Representatives of not less than one-third of the total number of the existing members of both Houses have the right to present their petition to the King for the issuance of a Royal Command convoking an extraordinary session of the National Assembly. The petition referred to in paragraph one shall be lodged with the President of the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly shall present the petition to the King and countersign the Royal Command.

Section 130. At a sitting of the House of Representatives or the Senate or at a joint sitting of the National Assembly, words expressed in giving statements of fact or opinions or in casting the vote by any member are absolutely privileged. No charge or action in any manner whatsoever shall be brought against such member. The privilege under paragraph one does not extend to a member who expresses words at a sitting which is broadcast through radio or television if such words appear out of the precinct of the National Assembly and the expression of such words constitutes a criminal offence or a wrongful act against any other person, who is not a Minister or member of that House. In the case of paragraph two, if the words expressed by the member cause damage to other person who is not a Minister or member of that House, the President of that House shall cause explanations to be published as requested by that person in accordance with the procedure and within the period of time as prescribed in the rules of the procedure of that House, without prejudice to the person’s right to bring the case before the Court. The privilege provided in this section extends to printers and publishers of the minutes of sittings in accordance with the rules of procedure of the House of Representatives, the Senate or the National Assembly, as the case may be, and to persons permitted by the presiding member to give statements of fact or opinions at such sitting as well as to persons who broadcasts the sitting through radio or television with the permission of the President of such House mutatis mutandis.

Section 131. No member of the House of Representatives or senator shall, during a session, be arrested, detained or summoned by a warrant for an inquiry as the suspect in a criminal case unless permission of the House of which he or she is a member is obtained or he or she is arrested in flagrante delicto. In the case where a member of the House of Representatives or a senator has been arrested in flagrante delicto, it shall be forthwith reported to the President of the House of which he or she is a member and such President may order the release of the person so arrested. In the case where a criminal charge is brought against a member of the House of Representatives or a senator, whether the House is in session or not, the Court shall not try the case during a session, unless permission of the House of which he or she is a member is obtained or it is a case concerning the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators, the Organic Act on Election Commission or the Organic Act on political parties; provided that the trial of the Court shall not hinder such member from attending the sitting of the House. The trial and adjudication of the Court conducted before it is invoked that the accused is a member of either House are valid. If a member of the House of Representatives or a senator is detained during the inquiry or trial before the beginning of a session, when the session begins, the inquiry official or the Court, as the case may be, must order his or her release as soon as the President of the House of which he or she is a member has so requested. The order of release shall be effective as from the date of such order until the last day of the session.

Section 132. During the expiration of the term or the dissolution of the House of Representatives, the Senate shall not hold its sitting except in the following cases: (1) a sitting at which the Senate shall act as the National Assembly under section 19, section 21, section 22, section 23 and section 189, and the votes taken shall be based on the number of senators; (2) a sitting at which the Senator shall make a determination placing a person to any office in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution; (3) a sitting at which the Senate shall consider and pass a resolution removing a person from office.

Section 133. A sitting of the House of Representatives and of the Senate and a joint sitting of the National Assembly are public under the conditions stipulated in the rules of procedure of each House. A sitting in camera shall be held at the request of the Council of Ministers or members of not less than one-fourth of the total number of the existing members of each House or of both Houses, as the case may be.

Section 134. The House of Representatives and the Senate have the power to make the rules of procedure governing the election and performance of duties of the President, Vice- Presidents, matters or activities which are within the powers and duties of each standing committee, the performance and quorum of committees, sittings, the submission and consideration of organic law bills and bills, the submission of motions, the consultation, debates, the passing of a resolution, the recording and disclosure of the passing of a resolution, the interpellation, the initiation of a general debate, the observance of rules and orders and other relevant matters, and shall also have the power to make the rules of procedure governing codes of ethics of members and committee members and other matters for the execution of this Constitution.

Section 135. The House of Representatives and the Senate have the power to select and appoint members of each house to constitute a standing committee and have the power to select and appoint persons, being or not being its members, to constitute an ad hoc committee in order to perform any act, inquire into or study any matter within the powers and duties of the House and report its findings to the House. The resolution appointing such ad hoc committee must specify the activity or the matter concerned clearly and without repetition or duplication. The committee under paragraph one has the power to issue an order demanding documents from any person or summoning any person to give statements of fact or opinions on the act undertaken or on the matter under its inquiry or study, and such order shall have a binding force as provided by law, but such order shall not apply to judges performing duties in relation to trial and adjudication of cases or personnel administration of each court and shall not apply to Ombudsmen or members of constitutional independent organs who directly perform official duties in each organ in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution or in accordance with an Organic Act, as the case may be. In the case where the person under paragraph two is a Government official, official or employee of a Government agency, a State agency, a State enterprise or a local government organisation, the Chairman of the committee shall notify the Minister who supervises and controls the agency to which such person is attached in order to instruct him or her to act as prescribed in paragraph two, except that, in the case of the safety or benefit of importance to the State, it shall be deemed as a ground of an exemption to the compliance with paragraph two. The privileges provided in section 130 shall also extend to the persons performing their duties under this section. The number of members of a standing committee appointed solely from members of the House of Representatives shall be in proportion to or in close proportion to the number of members of the House of Representatives of each political party or group of political parties in the House of Representatives. In the absence of the rules of procedure of the House of Representatives under section 134, the President of the House of Representatives shall determine the proportion under paragraph five.

Part 5 : Joint Sittings of the National Assembly[edit]

Section 136. The National Assembly shall hold a joint sitting in the following cases: (1) the approval of the appointment of the Regent under section 19; (2) the making of a solemn declaration by the Regent before the National Assembly under section 21; (3) the acknowledgment of an amendment of the Palace Law on Succession B.E. 2467 under section 22; (4) the acknowledgment or approval of the succession to the Throne under section 23; (5) the passing of a resolution for the consideration by the National Assembly of other matters during a legislative ordinary session under section 127; (6) the approval of the prorogation of a session under section 127; (7) the opening of the session of the National Assembly under section 128; (8) the making of the rules of procedure of the National Assembly under section 137; (9) the approval of the consideration of an organic law bill or a bill under section 145; (10) the reconsideration of an organic law bill or a bill or under section 151; (11) the approval of the further consideration of a Constitution Amendment, an organic law bill or a bill under section 153 paragraph two; (12) the announcement of policies under section 176; (13) the holding of a general debate under section 179; (14) the approval of the declaration of war under section 189; (15) the hearing of explanations and approval of a treaty under section 190; (16) the amendment of the Constitution under section 291.

Section 137. At a joint sitting of the National Assembly, the rules of procedure of the National Assembly shall apply. While the rules of procedure of the National Assembly have not yet been issued, the rules of procedure of the House of Representatives shall apply mutatis mutandis. The provisions applicable to both Houses shall apply mutatis mutandis to the joint sitting of the National Assembly, except that, for the appointment of a committee, the number of committee members appointed from the members of each House must be in proportion to or in close proportion to the number of members of each House.

Part 6 : Enactment of Organic Acts[edit]

Section 138. There shall be the following Organic Acts: (1) Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives and the Acquisition of Senators; (2) Organic Act on the Election Commission; (3) Organic Act on Political Parties; (4) Organic Act on Referendum; (5) Organic Act on Procedure of the Constitutional Court; (6) Organic Act on Criminal Procedure for Persons Holding Political Positions; (7) Organic Act on Ombudsmen; (8) Organic Act on Counter Corruption; (9) Organic Act on State Audit.

Section 139. An organic law bill may be introduced only by: (1) the Council of Ministers; (2) members of the House of Representatives of not less than one-tenth of the total number of its existing members, or members of the House of Representatives and senators of not less than one-tenth of the total number of existing members of both Houses; or (3) the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Justice or a constitutional independent organ, where the President of such Court and the President of such independent organ has charge and control of the execution of such Organic Act.

Section 140. The consideration of an organic law bill by the House of Representatives and by the Senate shall be conducted in three readings, as follows:

(1) the voting in the first reading for acceptance in principle and in the second reading for consideration section by section shall be decided by a majority of votes; (2) the voting in the third reading must be approved, for promulgation as Organic Act, by votes of more than one-half of the total number of the existing members of each House. The provisions of Chapter VI Part 7 Enactment of Acts shall apply to the consideration of an organic law bill mutatis mutandis.

Section 141. Upon its approval by the National Assembly, an organic law bill shall be, prior to its presentation to the King for signature, referred to the Constitutional Court for determining its constitutionality, provided that such determination shall be completed within thirty days as from the date of its receipt. In case of a decision of the Constitutional Court that any organic law bill contains a provision contrary to or inconsistent with the Constitution, such provision shall lapse. In the case of a decision that such provision forms an essential part or that an organic law bill is enacted in derogation of the provisions of the Constitution, such organic law bill shall lapse. In the case where the decision of the Constitutional Court results in the provision that is contrary to or inconsistent with the Constitution lapsing under paragraph two, such organic law bill shall be referred back to the House of Representatives and the Senate for consideration in respective order. In such case, the House of Representatives or the Senate shall consider amendment in order for the bill not to be contrary to or inconsistent with the Constitution, provided that a resolution making amendment thereto shall be supported by votes of more than one-half of the total number of existing members of each House and, thereafter, the

Prime Minister shall further proceed in accordance with section 90 and section 150, or section 151, as the case may be.

Part 7 : Enactment of Acts[edit]

Section 142. Subject to section 139, a bill may be introduced only by: (1) the Council of Ministers; (2) not less than twenty members of the House of Representatives; (3) the Court or a constitutional independent organ, only in respect of the law that is concerned with institutional organisation and the law the execution of which the President of such Court and the President of such organ has charge and control; or (4) persons having the right to vote of not less than ten thousand in number, who lodge a petition for introducing the law under section 163. In the case where a bill introduced under (2), (3) or (4) purports to be a money bill, its introduction may be made only with the endorsement of the Prime Minister. In the case where any bill has been introduced by the people under (4), if the person under (1) or (2) has introduced a bill with a principle identical to that of such earlier bill, the provisions of section 163 paragraph four shall also apply to the consideration of such bill. A bill shall be first submitted to the House of Representatives. A bill introduced under paragraph one shall also be accompanied by an explanatory note summarising essential contents of the bill.

A bill introduced to the National Assembly shall be open to the public and details thereof shall be made publicly accessible in a convenient manner.

Section 143. A money bill means a bill with provisions dealing with any of the following matters: (1) the imposition, repeal, reduction, alteration, modification, remission, or regulation of taxes or duties; (2) the allocation, receipt, custody, payment of the State funds, or transfer of expenditure estimates of the State; (3) the raising of loans, a guarantee, redemption of loans, or action binding upon the property of the State; (4) currency. In case of doubt as to whether a bill is a money bill which requires the endorsement of the Prime Minister or not, it shall be the power of a joint sitting of the President of the House of Representatives and Presidents of all its standing committees to make a decision thereon. The President of the House of Representatives shall hold a joint sitting to consider the case under paragraph two within fifteen days as from the date such case occurs. The resolution of the joint sitting under paragraph two shall be decided by a majority of votes. In case of an equality of votes, the President of the House of Representatives shall have an additional vote as a casting vote.

Section 144. In the case where any bill as introduced by members of the House of Representatives was not, at the stage of the adoption of its principle, a money bill but was subsequently amended by the House of Representatives and, in the opinion of the President of the House, such amendment has rendered it to exhibit the characteristic of a money bill, the President of

the House shall suspend the consideration of such bill and, within fifteen days as from the day on which such case occurs, shall refer it to a joint sitting of the President of the House of Representatives and Presidents of all its standing committees to make a decision thereon. In the case where the joint sitting under paragraph one decides that the amendment resulted in such bill exhibiting the characteristic of a money bill, the President of the House shall refer it to the Prime Minister for endorsement. In the case where the Prime Minister does not endorse it, the House of Representative shall amend it so as to prevent it from being a money bill.

Section 145. When a bill which has been specified by the Council of Ministers, in its policies stated to the National Assembly under section 176, as necessary for the administration of the State affairs is not approved by a resolution of the House of Representatives and the votes disapproving it are less than onehalf of the total number of the existing members of the House, the Council of Ministers may request the National Assembly to hold a joint sitting for passing a resolution on another occasion. If it is approved, the National Assembly shall appoint the persons, being or not being its members, in such an equal number as proposed by the Council of Ministers, to constitute a joint committee of the National Assembly for considering such bill, and the joint committee of the National Assembly shall prepare a report thereon and submit the bill which it has already considered to the National Assembly. If such bill is approved by the National Assembly, further proceedings under section 150 shall be taken. If it is not approved, such bill shall lapse.

Section 146. Subject to section 168, when the House of Representatives has considered a bill submitted under section 142 and passed a resolution approving it, the House of Representatives shall submit such bill to the Senate. The Senate must finish the consideration of such bill within sixty days; but if it is a money bill, the consideration thereof must be finished within thirty days; provided that the Senate may, as an exceptional case, pass a resolution extending the period for not more than thirty days. The said period shall mean the period during a session and shall be counted as from the day on which such bill reaches the Senate. The period referred to in paragraph one shall not include the period during which the bill is under the consideration of the Constitutional Court under section 149. If the Senate has not finished the consideration of the bill within the period referred to in paragraph one, it shall be deemed that the Senate has approved it. In the case where the House of Representatives submits a money bill to the Senate, the President of the House of Representatives shall also advise the Senate that the bill so submitted is a money bill. The advice of the President of the House of Representatives shall be deemed final. In the case where the President of the House of Representatives does not advise the Senate that the bill is a money bill, such bill shall not be deemed a money bill.

Section 147. Subject to section 168, after the Senate has finished the consideration of a bill, (1) if it agrees with the House of Representatives, further proceedings under section 150 shall be taken; (2) if it disagrees with the House of Representatives, such bill shall be withheld and returned to the House of Representatives; (3) if there is an amendment, the amended bill or the amended organic law bill shall be returned to the House of Representatives. If the House of Representatives approves such amendment, further proceedings under section 150 shall be taken. In other cases, each House shall appoint persons, being or not being its members, in such an equal number as may be fixed by the House of Representatives, to constitute a joint committee for considering the bill and the joint committee shall prepare a report thereon and submit the bill which it has already considered to both Houses. If both Houses approve the bill already considered by the joint committee, further proceedings under section 150 shall be taken. If either House disapproves it, the bill shall be withheld. The joint committee has the power to demand documents from any person or summon any person to give statements of fact or opinions in respect of the consideration of the bill or the organic law bill and the privileges provided in section 130 shall also extend to the person performing his or her duties under this section. At a meeting of the joint committee, the presence of the members of the joint committee appointed by both Houses of not less than one-half of the total number of its members is required to constitute a quorum and the provisions of section 137 shall apply mutatis mutandis. If the Senate does not return the bill to the House of Representatives within the time under section 146, it shall be deemed that the Senate has approved such bill and further proceedings under section 150 shall be taken.

Section 148. A bill withheld under section 147 may be reconsidered by the House of Representatives only after the lapse of one hundred and eighty days as from the date the bill is returned to the House of Representatives by the Senate in case of withholding under section 147 (2) and as from the date either House disapproves it in case of withholding under section 147 (3). In such cases, if the House of Representatives resolves to reaffirm the bill considered by the joint committee by the votes of more than one-half of the total number of the existing members of the House of Representatives, such bill shall be deemed to have been approved by the National Assembly and further proceedings under section 150 shall be taken. If the bill withheld is a money bill, the House of Representatives may forthwith proceed to reconsider it. In such case, if the House of Representatives resolves to reaffirm the bill considered by the joint committee by the votes of more than onehalf of the total number of the existing members of the House of Representatives, such bill shall be deemed to have been approved by the National Assembly and further proceedings under section 150 shall be taken.

Section 149. While a bill is being withheld under section 147, the Council of Ministers or members of the House of Representatives may not introduce a bill having the same or similar principle as that of the bill so withheld. In the case where the House of Representatives or the Senate is of the opinion that the bill so introduced or referred to for consideration has the same or similar principle as that of the bill being withheld, the President of the House of Representatives or the President of the Senate shall refer the said bill to the Constitutional Court for decision. If the Constitutional Court decides that it is a bill having the same or similar principle as that of the bill so withheld, such bill shall lapse.

Section 150. After a bill has already been approved by the National Assembly, the Prime Minister shall present it to the King for signature within twenty days as from the date of the receipt of such bill from the National Assembly, and it shall come into force upon its publication in the Royal Gazette.

Section 151. If the King refuses His assent to a bill and either returns it to the National Assembly or does not return it within ninety days, the National Assembly must redeliberate such bill. If the National Assembly resolves to reaffirm the bill with the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of existing members of both Houses, the Prime Minister shall present such bill to the King for signature on another occasion. If the King does not sign and return the bill within thirty days, the Prime Minister shall cause the bill to be promulgated as an Act in the Government Gazette as if the King had signed it.

Section 152. In considering a bill the substance of which is decided by the President of the House of Representatives to be concerned with children, the youth, women, the elderly, the disabled or persons of infirmity, if the House of Representatives does not consider it by its full committee, the House of Representatives shall appoint an ad hoc committee consisting of representatives, from private organisations concerned with the respective types of persons, of not less than one-third of the total number of members of the committee, provided that it shall be represented by a close number of men and women.

Section 153. In the case where the term of the House of Representatives expires or the House of Representatives is dissolved, the draft Constitution Amendment or all bills to which the King has refused His assent or which have not been returned by the King within ninety days shall lapse. In the case where the term of the House of Representatives expires or where the House of Representatives is dissolved, the National Assembly, the House of Representatives or the Senate, as the case may be, may, after a general election of members of the House of Representatives, continue the consideration of the draft Constitution Amendment or the bill which has not yet been approved by the National Assembly if the Council of Ministers which is newly appointed after the general election so requests within sixty days as from the first sitting day of the National Assembly after the general election and the National Assembly approves it. If the Council of Ministers does not so request within such period of time, such draft Constitution Amendment or bill shall lapse. The further consideration of the draft Constitution Amendment or the bill under paragraph two shall be in accordance with the rules of procedure of the House of Representatives, the Senate or the National Assembly, as the case may be.

Part 8 : Scrutiny of Unconstitutionality of Enactment[edit]

Section 154. After any bill has been approved by the National Assembly, then, before the Prime Minister presents it to the King for signature under section 150; or after any bill has been reaffirmed by the National Assembly under section 151, then, before the Prime Minister presents it to the King for signature on another occasion: (1) if members of the House of Representatives, senators or members of both Houses of not less than one-tenth of the total number of the existing members of both Houses are of the opinion that the said bill contains provisions that are contrary to or inconsistent with this Constitution or is enacted contrary to the provisions of this Constitution, they shall submit their opinion to the President of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate or the President of the National Assembly, as the case may be, and the President of the House receiving such opinion shall then refer it to the Constitutional Court for decision and, without delay, inform the Prime Minister thereof; (2) if the Prime Minister is of the opinion that the said bill contains provisions that are contrary to or inconsistent with this Constitution or is enacted contrary to the provisions of this Constitution, the Prime Minister shall refer such opinion to the Constitutional Court for decision and, without delay, inform the President of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate thereof. During the consideration of the Constitutional Court, the Prime Minister shall suspend the proceedings in respect of the promulgation of the bill until the Constitutional Court gives a decision thereon. If the Constitutional Court decides that the provisions of such bill are contrary to or inconsistent with this Constitution or enacted contrary to the provisions of this Constitution and that such provisions of the bill form the essential part thereof, such bill shall lapse. If the Constitutional Court decides that the provisions of such bill are contrary to or inconsistent with this Constitution otherwise than in the case specified in paragraph three, such conflicting or inconsistent provisions shall lapse and the Prime Minister shall proceed further in accordance with section 150 or section 151, as the case may be.

Section 155. The provisions of section 154 shall apply mutatis mutandis to draft rules of procedure of the House of Representatives, draft rules of procedure of the Senate and draft rules of procedure of the National Assembly which have already been approved by the House of Representatives, the Senate or

the National Assembly, as the case may be, but remain unpublished in the Government Gazette.

Part 9 : Scrutiny of Administration of the State Affairs[edit]

Section 156. Every member of the House of Representatives or senator has the right to interpellate a Minister on any matter within the scope of his or her authority, but the Minister has the right to refuse to answer it if the Council of Ministers is of the opinion that the matter should not yet be disclosed on the ground of safety or vital interest of the State.

Section 157. In the administration of the State affairs on any matter which involves an important problem of public concern, affects national or public interests, or requires urgency, a member of the House of Representatives may notify the President of the House of Representatives in writing prior to the commencement of the sitting of the day that the member will interpellate the Prime Minister or the Minister responsible for the administration of the State affairs on that matter without specifying the question, and the President of the House of Representatives shall place such matter on the agenda of the meeting of that day. The interpellation and the answer to the interpellation under paragraph one may be made once a week, and a verbal interpellation by a member of the House of Representatives on a matter involving the administration of the State affairs may be made not exceeding three times on each matter in accordance with the rules of procedure of the House of Representatives.

Section 158. Members of the House of Representatives of not less than one-fifth of the total number of the existing members of the House have the right to submit a motion for a general debate for the purpose of passing a vote of no-confidence in the Prime Minister. Such motion must nominate the suitable next Prime Minister who is also a person under section 171 paragraph two and, when the motion has been submitted, the dissolution of the House of Representatives is not permitted, except that the motion is withdrawn or the resolution is passed without being supported by the vote in accordance with paragraph three. In the submission of the motion for a general debate under paragraph one, if it is concerned with the behaviour of the Prime Minister, which involves a circumstance of unusual wealthiness, exhibits a sign of malfeasance in office or amounts to an intentional violation of the provisions of the Constitution or law, it shall not be submitted without the petition under section 271 having been presented. Upon the submission of the petition under section 271, it may be proceeded with without awaiting the outcome of the proceedings under section 272. If the general debate is concluded without a resolution passing over the agenda of the general debate, the House of Representatives shall pass a vote of confidence or no-confidence. Voting in such case shall not take place on the date of the conclusion of the debate. The vote of no-confidence must be passed by more than one-half of the total number of the existing members of the House of Representatives. In the case where a vote of no-confidence is passed by not more than one-half of the total number of the existing members of the House of Representatives, the members of the House of Representatives who submit the motion for the general debate shall no longer have the right to submit another motion for a general debate for the purpose of passing a vote of no-confidence in the Prime Ministers throughout the session.

In the case where a vote of no-confidence is passed by more than one-half of the total number of the existing members of the House of Representatives, the President of the House of Representatives shall submit the name of the person nominated under paragraph one to the King for further appointment and section 172 shall not apply.

Section 159. Members of the House of Representatives of not less than one-sixth of the total number of the existing members of the House of Representatives have the right to submit a motion for a general debate for the purpose of passing a vote of noconfidence in an individual Minister, and the provisions of section 158 paragraph two, paragraph three and paragraph four shall apply mutatis mutandis. A Minister who vacates original office but remains a Minister in different office subsequent to the date of the motion submitted by members of the House of Representatives under paragraph one shall remain subjected to the debate for the purpose of passing a vote of no-confidence. The provisions of paragraph two shall also apply mutatis mutandis to a Minister who has vacated original office for a period not longer than ninety days prior to the date of the motion submitted by members of the House of Representatives under paragraph one but remains a Minister in different office.

Section 160. In the case where the number of members the House of Representatives who are not members of the parties of which any members are Ministers does not reach the number determined for submission of a motion for a general debate under section 158 or section 159, members of the House of Representatives of more than one-half of such existing members shall have the right to submit a motion for a general debate for the

purpose of passing a vote of no-confidence in the Prime Minister or an individual Minister under section 158 or section 159 after the Council of Ministers has carried out administration of the State affairs for more than two years.

Section 161. Senators of not less than one-third of the total number of the existing members of the Senate have the right to submit a motion for a general debate in the Senate for the purpose of requesting the Council of Ministers to give statements of fact or explain important problems in connection with the administration of the State affairs without a resolution to be passed. The motion for the general debate under this section may be submitted only once in each session.

Section 162. In the case where there is a sitting of the House of Representatives or the Senate for an interpellation on any matter in connection with work under official duties or for a debate of no-confidence against the Prime Minister or any Minister, it shall be the duty of the Prime Minister or that Minister to attend the sitting of the House of Representatives or the Senate for giving explanations or answering the interpellation on that matter personally, except where there exists an inevitable necessity preventing attendance, provided that the President of the House of Representatives or the Senate shall be informed thereof before or on the date of the sitting with regard to such matter. Members of the House of Representatives shall be independent from any resolutions of political parties in respect of an interpellation, a debate and the passing of a vote in a debate of no-confidence.