Siamese Interim Administrative Charter Act, Buddhist Era 2475 (1932)
Siamese Interim Administrative Charter
Buddhist Era 2475 (1932)
Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paraminthra Maha Prajadhipok Phra Pok Klao Chao Yu Hua is graciously pleased to proclaim that:
Whereas the People’s Party has requested Him to be subject to an Administrative Charter of Siam, so that the Nation would become more civilised; and
Whereas He accepted the request of the People’s Party;
Be it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty as follows:
The sovereignty of the Nation belongs to all citizens.
There shall be the following persons and groups of persons to exercise the sovereignty on behalf of the citizens and in the manner hereinafter prescribed:
1. The King;
2. The House of Representatives;
3. The People’s Council;
4. The Courts.
The King is Head of State. An Act, judicial decision or other action as specifically indicated by a legal provision must be done in the name of the King.
Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paraminthra Maha Prajadhipok Phra Pok Klao Chao Yu Hua is the King of this Nation. Succession to the Throne shall be in accordance with the Palace Law on Succession, BE 2467 (1924), and the approval of the House of Representatives.
Should the King be provisionally incapable of functioning or absent from the Kingdom, the People’s Council shall exercise his prerogatives on his behalf.
No criminal case may be brought against the King before any sort of court, but it shall be the duty of the House of Representatives to adjudicate the case.
On pain of voidness, any act performed by the King must be countersigned by any People’s Councillor and consented by the People’s Council.
House of Representatives
The House of Representatives shall be empowered to issue the Acts. These Acts shall come into force upon having been promulgated by the King.
If, within seven days from his receipt of a bill from the House, the King finds unable to promulgate it, he shall be permitted to deliver it back to the House for reconsideration, but he must also demonstrate his grounds therefor. If the House reaffirms it, even the King still disapproves of it, the House shall be invested with the power to promulgate it as a law.
The House of Representatives shall have the power to supervise the state business and to remove any People’s Councillor or government officer.
Members of the House of Representatives
The members of the House of Representatives must be as follows:
During a period from the entry into force of this Charter to the time the second-type members take their offices, the People’s Party, now represented by the Military Defence Council, shall appoint seventy provisional members of the House of Representatives.
Within six months or until the state business could completely be arranged, there must be the following two types of members of the House to jointly transact its business:
First-type: One member elected by the citizens of each province; prescribed that in a province where there are more than one hundred thousand citizens, one additional member shall be elected for every one hundred thousand citizens and for a surplus, if it does exceed half of the said number;
Second-type: The persons already being the members in the 1st Period, numbering not more than the first-type members; prescribed that in case of excess, they shall select some amongst themselves to continue to assume the memberships, or in case of insufficiency, the existing members shall select any persons to completely fill the vacancies.
When more than half of the total number of the existing citizens throughout the Kingdom passed the primary education examinations, the members of the House of Representatives must all be elected by the citizens and the second-type members shall cease to exist; prescribed that this must not take more than ten years from the entry into force of this Charter.
A candidate for a first-type membership shall be of the following qualifications:
1. Having passed the political science examinations according to a curriculum set up by the House;
2. Having attained the twentieth year of age;
3. Not being an incompetent or quasi-incompetent person;
4. Not having been disfranchised by a court;
5. Being of Thai nationality according to law;
6. Having obtained an approval of a 1st Period member that he is not likely to cause disorder; prescribed that this shall only apply to a candidate for a first-type membership in the 2nd Period.
An election of both the first-type and second-type members shall be conducted as follows
1. The citizens of a village elect their representative to further vote for a commune representative;
2. The village representatives vote for a commune representative;
3. The commune representatives vote for a member of the House of Representatives.
An election in the 3rd Period shall subsequently be determined by a law containing a procedure for direct election.
The first-type members may hold their offices for four years from the taking of offices. But upon the 3rd Period, the second-type members, even having been in office for a period not yet over four years, must vacate their offices from the date the 3rd Period members take offices.
In cases a membership becomes vacant for any reason other than the termination of term, the existing member shall select any person to fill such vacancy; prescribed that a new member shall be in office for the remaining term of his predecessor.
A citizen, irrespective of his or her sex, shall be entitled to vote for a village representative; prescribed that he or she is of the following qualifications:
1. Having attained the twentieth year of age;
2. Not being an incompetent or quasi-incompetent person;
3. Not having disfranchised by a court;
4. Being of Thai nationality according to law.
Section 11 shall apply to the qualifications of the village representatives and commune representatives.
An election of a member shall be ruled by a majority of votes. In case of a tie, a second election shall be held. If the second election also results in a tie, an intermediary selected by the candidates shall issue a casting vote.
Additional to an expiry of term, a member shall be deemed to have vacated his office upon lack of any of the qualifications set forth in section 11, upon death, or upon decision of the House to that effect in cases the House finds that he brings about disgrace to it.
A court may admit a criminal case against a member of the House of Representatives only upon approval of the House.
Procedure at Meetings
The members shall select amongst themselves one to serve as the President of the House bearing the duty to undertake the business of the House, and two to become the Vice Presidents entitled to represent the President when he is provisionally unable to function.
In cases the President is absent or incapable of presence, a Vice President shall on his behalf preserve the order of the House and hold the regular meetings.
If the Presidents and Vice Presidents are all absent from a meeting, the present members shall select one amongst themselves to preside over such meeting.
It shall be the duty of the House to schedule the ordinary meetings.
An extraordinary meeting may only be held upon a request of not less than fifteen members or of the Peoples’ Council, and shall be convoked by the President or his substitute.
In every meeting, the presence of not less than one half of the total number of the existing members is required to constitute a quorum.
A decision on any question shall be reached by a majority of votes. In voting, one member shall have one vote. In case of a tie, the presiding officer shall issue one additional vote as a casting vote.
No member may be held liable for any oral or written statement he has made for the purpose of giving an opinion or casting a vote amongst a meeting. Such statement shall ground no claim or accusation against that member.
In every meeting, the presiding officer must order the parliamentary officers to draw up the stenographic records and submit them to the members for inspection and approval and to the presiding officer for signature.
The House shall be empowered to set up a subcommittee to carry out any act or inquire into any matter and submit an opinion thereon to the plenary session for further consideration. The chairperson of a subcommittee shall, if not appointed by the House, be selected by the members of such subcommittees.
A subcommittee shall have the power to require any person to make a personal appearance and give any explanation or opinion. The members of a subcommittee and the persons so required shall enjoy the privilege of expression under section 24.
In a meeting of a subcommittee, the presence of not less than three members is required to constitute a quorum. But if the subcommittee is of three members, the presence of two members suffices to establish a quorum.
The House shall be invested with the power to lay down the rules of order for the purpose of enforcing this Charter. (In the initial period, the ordinances of the Privy Council shall apply mutatis mutandis to extent not contrary to this Charter.)
The People’s Council shall be invested with the authority to implement the objectives of the House.
In case of an emergency where the People’s Council is incapable of promptly convoking the House of Representatives and it finds expedient to issue any law to cope with such emergency, the Council shall be permitted to do so but it must without delay present such law to the House for affirmation.
The People’s Council shall be of the power to grant pardon, but it shall seek for the prior assent of the King.
All ministers shall be accountable to the People’s Council for all affairs.
Any act which is in contravention of an order or rule given by the People’s Council or which is not permitted by this Charter shall be rendered void.
People’s Councillors and Regular Officers
The People’s Council consists of one President and fourteen Councillors, being fifteen in total.
The House shall appoint one of its members as President, and the President shall select fourteen of his fellow members to serve as Councillors. Upon having been approved by the House, the selectees shall be deemed to have been appointed by the House. Finding that a Councillor fails to comply with the public policy laid down by the House, the House may remove him from office and have a new one selected according to the said procedure.
Upon a Councillor being attacked by any circumstances causing him to lack any of the representative qualifications as described in section 11 or upon his death, the House shall have a new Councillor selected. The Council shall also come to an end upon expiry of the House setting it up.
The removal of a minister shall be the prerogative of the King; prescribed that he may exercise it only upon the advice of the People’s Council.
It shall be the duty of a People’s Councillor to hold a negotiation with a foreign state on political matter, but he may assign such duty to any person.
The Councillor shall inform the King of the progress of a negotiation.
The ratification of a friendship treaty shall be the prerogative of the King; prescribed that he may exercise it only upon the advice of a People’s Councillor.
Declaration of war shall be the prerogative of the King; prescribed that he may exercise it only upon the advice of a People’s Councillor.
Procedure at Meetings
Chapter 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the People’s Council as its procedure at meetings.
The settlement of disputes shall be in accordance with the laws in force at the time being.
- This Act is done on the 27th Day of June, Buddhist Era 2475 (1932), and shall enter into force henceforth.
- (Signature) Prajadhipok, Rex.
- Published in the Government Gazette: volume 48/part 166/June 27, 1932.