Translation:Collection of Constitutions of the Kingdom of Thailand/Tome 1/Part 1
Dated 27 June 2475
Volume 49, Page 166
Interim Charter for Public Administration of Siam Act,
2475 Buddhist Era
Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramin Maha Prajadhipok Phra Pokklao Chaoyuhua gives a great royal command by which He declares to all as follows:
Whereas the People's Party has requested Him to be under a Charter for Public Administration of Siam, so that the Land would fare better; and
Whereas He has accepted the request of the People's Party;
Therefore, He orders with His gracious pleasure that enacted shall be an Act containing the following sections:
Section1.The supreme power of the Country belongs to all the people.
Section2.There shall be such persons and bodies of persons as to be hereafter stated to exercise the power on behalf of the people in accordance with the statements hereinafter made, namely—
Section3.The Monarch is the Supreme Head of the Country. Acts, judicial rulings, and other matters which are to be specifically specified by legal provisions must be done in the name of the Monarch.
Section4.The one who is the Monarch of the Country is Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramin Maha Prajadhipok Phra Pokklao Chaoyuhua. Succession shall be in accordance with the Palace Law on Succession, 2467 BE, and with the approval of the House of Representatives.
Section5.If, by cause of temporary necessity, the Monarch is unable to do His duties or is absent from the Realm, the People's Committee shall exercise the rights on His behalf.
Section6.The Monarch cannot be charged in court with a criminal case. It is the duty of the House of Representatives to give a ruling.
Section7.Any action done by the Monarch must, in order for it to take effect, be countersigned by any particular Member of the People's Committee with the consent of the People's Committee. Otherwise, void shall it be.
Section8.The House of Representatives has the power to issue acts. Those acts shall become applicable upon promulgation by the Monarch.
If the Monarch has not promulgated an act within a period of seven days from the day of His receipt of such act from the House, He has the power to return the act, with a statement of His reasons for refusing to sign it, to the House for reconsideration. If the House resolves to affirm the original resolution and the Monarch dissents therefrom, the House has the power to promulgate the act as a law.
Section9.The House of Representatives has the power to supervise the affairs of the Country, and has the power to meet to remove any particular Member of the People's Committee or government official.
Section10.In the House of Representatives, there must be Members as per the following periods:
From the day this Charter comes into force onwards and until the time the Members in Period 2 assume their positions, the People's Party, on whose behalf the Council of Military Defenders of the Realm is exercising powers, shall appoint interim Representatives, who are 70 in number, as Members of the House.
Within the period of six months or until the Country in orderly organised, the Members of the House must be composed of two types of persons carrying out affairs together, namely—
1st Type: Representatives who are to be selected by the people, one from each province. If any province has over 100,000 Members, that province shall select one additional Representative per each and every 100,000 [people]. A surplus of 100,000, if exceeding the half, shall amount to one additional [Representative].
2nd Type: Those who have already been Members since Period 1, having the same number as the 1st Type Members. If there is an excess in their number, they shall select some amongst themselves to remain in memberships. If there is a lack in the number, the existing persons shall select any persons to fill up the vacancies.
When over half of the number of the people throughout the Royal Territory has passed the primary education examination, which must not be later than ten years from the day this Charter comes into force, the Members of the House of Representatives must all be the persons elected by the people themselves and the 2nd Type Members shall no longer exist.
Section11.The qualifications of a candidate in a selection of 1st Type Representatives are:
- having passed the political science examination according to the curriculum to be set up by the House;
- having full 20 years of age;
- not being an incompetent or quasi-incompetent person;
- not being subject to a court judgment revoking the right to be selected;
- being a Thai national according to the law;
- for a candidate in a selection of 1st Type Representatives in Period 2 only — having obtained prior approval of the Members in Period 1 confirming that he should not be suspected of being likely to bring about disorder.
Section12.An election of 1st Type or 2nd Type Members shall be done as follows:
- the people of a village select a Representative to vote for a Subdistrict Representative;
- Village Representatives select Subdistrict Representatives;
- Subdistrict Representatives elect Members of the House of Representatives.
There will later be a law providing for elections of Members in Period 3, in respect of which implemented will be a procedure that allows the Members to directly elect their Representatives in the House.
Section13.The 1st Type Representatives shall be in their positions for a term of four years from the day they assume the positions. But once Period 3 has arrived, even though the Representatives in Period 2 have not yet been in their positions for the full four years, they must retire from their positions from the day the Representatives in Period 3 assume the positions.
If a position of Representative becomes vacant for any other reason than retirement by rotation, the [remaining] Members shall select another person for appointment as a new [Representative] to fill the vacancy. But the tenure of the new Representative shall only be equivalent to the time the retired person would be entitled to remain.
Section14.The people, regardless of the sexes, have the right to vote in a selection of Village Representatives, if they have the following qualifications, namely—
- having full 20 years of age;
- not being incompetent or quasi-incompetent persons;
- not being subject to a court judgment declaring the loss of the right to vote;
- being Thai nationals according to the law.
The qualifications of the Village Representatives and Subdistrict Representatives shall be as in section 11.
Section15.In any election of Representatives, a majority of votes shall govern. If there is a tied vote, there shall be a second selection. If there is a tied vote for the second time, a middleman shall be appointed to exercise a casting vote, and the candidates shall have [appointed] the middleman beforehand.
Section16.Other than retirement by rotation, a Representative shall be considered to have lost his position upon lack of any of the qualifications stated in section 11, or upon death, or upon a ruling of the House ousting him whenever the House finds that he brings about detriment to the House.
Section17.Charging a Member of the House of Representatives in court with a criminal case requires prior permission of the House, upon which the court can accept the charge.
Section18.The Members shall select one amongst themselves as President of the House, whose duty is to conduct the business of the House, and there shall be one Vice President to act as a replacement when the President is temporarily obstructed from doing his duty.
Section19.When the President is absent or is unable to be in attendance, the Vice President shall act on his behalf as the preserver of order in the House and shall arrange for discussions and consultations to be held in accordance with regulations.
Section20.If both the President and the Vice President are not present at a meeting, the Members attending the meeting shall elect one amongst themselves as temporary president for such meeting.
Section21.It shall be the duty of the House to designate ordinary meetings.
There can only be an extraordinary meeting when Members numbering not less than fifteen in total make a joint request or the People's Committee makes a request for convening such a meeting. An appointment to hold an extraordinary meeting is ordered by the President or the person acting on his behalf.
Section22.At every meeting, the Members in attendance must not be less than one half of the total number of the Members in order that a quorum for discussion be met.
Section23.In adopting a resolution to rule upon a discussed issue, a majority of votes shall govern. One Member does have one vote in voting. If there is a tie in the number of votes, the person presiding over the meeting shall be able to exercise one additional vote as a casting vote.
Section24.No Member is required to be liable for any word he stated or expressed as his opinion or in voting at a meeting. No person shall ever file a litigation on such ground.
Section25.The presiding officer must order a staff attached to the House to make and keep records of every meeting and submit them to the Members for inspection, correction, and confirmation, and the person presiding over the meeting shall then countersign them.
Section26.The House has the power to establish a subcommittee for carrying out any business or inquiring into and considering any matter before making opinions thereon and submitting them to a general meeting for further discussion, consultation, or decision. If the House has not appointed any president for the subcomittee, the members of the subcommittee may select and appoint one amongst themselves as their president.
The subcommittee has the power to invite any persons to appear and give explanations or opinions. The members of the subcommittee and the persons invited have the right to express opinions according to section 24.
At meetings of a subcommittee, the members in attendance must not be less than three in order that a quorum for discussion be met. However, if the members appointed to the subcommittee are only three in number, the attendance of at least two members can be considered a quorum.
Section27.The House has the power to establish regulations on the conduct of discussions or consultations in order to implement this Charter. (In this initial stage, the rules of the Assembly of Privy Councillors shall apply mutatis mutandis for the time being, only in so far as they are not contrary to this Charter.)
Section28.The People's Committee has the powers and duties to implement the objectives of the House.
Section29.If there is an emergency by which the People's Committee is prevented from convening the House of Representatives in good time, and the People's Committee finds it appropriate to issue a law which suits such an emergency, it shall be able to do so, but with dispatch must it introduce the law to the House for confirmation.
Section30.The People's Committee has the power to grant pardon, but the matter must be brought before [the Monarch] for His royal permission first.
Section31.The ministers of all ministries must be responsible to the People's Committee for all their affairs.
Anything violating an order or regulation of the People's Committee or done without the permission of the Charter shall be considered void.
Section32.The People's Committee is composed of one President of the People's Committee and 14 Members of the People's Committee, being 15 in total.
Section33.The House shall elect one Member of the House to serve as President of the Committee, and the one serving as such President shall select 14 other Members of the House to serve as Members of the Committee. Once this selection has been approved by the House, it shall be deemed that the persons so selected form a committee of the House. Whenever the House finds that a Member of the Committee fails to carry out an affair in accordance with the state governance policy of the House, the House has the power to invite the Member to leave the post, and elect a new one in accordance with that which has been stated.
Section34.When any Member of the Committee encounters a cause which renders him lacking in a qualification designated for a Representative by section 11, or he dies, the House shall select a replacing Member for his position.
After the House has elected Members of the Committee, whenever the tenure of the House ends, the tenure of that set of Members shall be considered to also end.
Section35.It is the prerogative of the Monarch to appoint ministers and remove them from their positions. Only upon the advice of the People's Committee shall He exercise this prerogative.
Section36.It is the duty of a Committee of People's Representatives to carry out political negotiations with foreign countries, and the Committee may appoint representatives for this purpose.
The Committee shall inform the Monarch of how a negotiation has proceeded.
It is the prerogative of the Monarch to ratify treaties of friendship. But He shall exercise this prerogative upon the advice of the People's Committee.
Section37.It is the prerogative of the Monarch to announce war. But He shall exercise this prerogative upon the advice of the People's Committee.
Section38.The provisions of chapter 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis as the meeting regulations of the People's Committee.
Section39.Settlement of disputes shall be in accordance with the law in force at the present time.
Announced on the 27th day of June 2475 Buddhist Era, and decreed to come into force henceforth.
- 1932 CE.
- Khamphothong (2022): This act, considered the first constitution of Siam, was drafted by Luang Praditmanutham, and when it was presented to King Prajadipok at Sukhothai Palace for his signature, the king added the word "interim" to its title.
- In this document, the monarch is merely referred to as kasat (Thai: กษัตริย์) without the traditional honorific phra maha (Thai: พระมหา; literally, "great [and] divine"). In 2022, Chonthicha Jaengraew was charged with lèse-majesté for referring to a Thai king with the mere word of kasat, amongst other alleged acts (Prachatai, 2022).
- Literally, "Assembly of People's Representatives".
- Referring to statutes. Literally translating as "divine royal enactments".
- The Thai text classifies these officers with the masculine classifier nai (Thai: นาย), implying that these positions were only for males.
- The words lueak (Thai: เลือก; "to select") and lueaktang (Thai: เลือกตั้ง; "to elect") used in this document seem to be interchangeable.
- Possibly a typographical error for "people".
- The verb seems to be missing in the Thai text.
- Possibly a typographical error for "the People's Committee".
- Khamphothong, Rawin (2022). "Kamnoet Thammanun Pokkhrong Sayam Chabap Thi Nueng: Kantorong Rawang 'Chao' Kap 'Ratsadon' Nai Kan-aphiwat Song Si Chet Ha" [Origin of the First Administrative Charter of Siam: Negotiations Between 'Royalty' and 'People' in the 2475 Revolution]. The 101 World (in Thai).
- Prachatai (2022). "Aiyakan Sang Fong Mo Nueng Nueng Song 'Lukket Chonthicha' Chak Korani Prasai Na San Thanyaburi" [Prosecutor Orders Prosecution of 'Lukkate Chonthicha' Under Section 112 for the Speech Given in Front of Thanyaburi Court]. Prachatai (in Thai).