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Thailand Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand
conventional short form: Thailand
local long form: Ratcha Anachak Thai
local short form: Prathet Thai
former: Siam
etymology: "Land of the Tai [People]"; the meaning of "tai" is uncertain, but may originally have meant "human beings," "people," or "free people"
Government typeconstitutional monarchy; note - interim military-affiliated government since May 2014
Capitalname: Bangkok
geographic coordinates: 13 45 N, 100 31 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions76 provinces (changwat, singular and plural) and 1 municipality* (maha nakhon); Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, Bueng Kan, Buri Ram, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Chumphon, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Krung Thep* (Bangkok), Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Lop Buri, Mae Hong Son, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Pattani, Phangnga, Phatthalung, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phrae, Phuket, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Roi Et, Sa Kaeo, Sakon Nakhon, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Sara Buri, Satun, Sing Buri, Si Sa Ket, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Tak, Trang, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, Yala, Yasothon
Independence1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
National holidayBirthday of King Maha VAJIRALONGKORN, 28 July (1952)
Constitutionmany previous; draft of latest completed 29 March 2016, approved by referendum 7 August 2016, signed by the king 6 April 2017; note - the final version has several changes not reflected in the one passed by referendum (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system with common law influences
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Thailand
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branchchief of state: King WACHIRALONGKON Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun (since 1 December 2016); note - King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet, also spelled BHUMIBOL Adulyadej (since 9 June 1946) died 13 October 2016
head of government: Interim Prime Minister Gen. PRAYUT Chan-ocha (since 25 August 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers PRAWIT Wongsuwan, Gen. (since 31 August 2014), THANASAK Patimaprakon, Gen. (since 31 August 2014), WISSANU Kruea-ngam (since 31 August 2014), SOMKHIT Chatusiphithak (since 20 August 2015), PRACHIN Chantong, Air Chief Mar. (since 20 August 2015), NARONG Phiphatthanasai, Adm. (since 20 August 2015)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the king; a Privy Council advises the king
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; the House of Representatives approves a person for Prime Minister who must then by appointed by the King (as stated in the transitory provision of the 2017 constitution); the office of prime minister can be held for up to a total of 8 years
note: Prime Minister YINGLAK Chinnawat, also spelled YINGLUCK Shinawatra, was removed from office on 7 May 2014 after the Constitutional Court ruled she illegally transferred a government official; Thai army declared martial law on 20 May 2014 followed by a coup on 22 May 2014
Legislative branchdescription: in transition; following the May 2014 military coup, a National Legislative Assembly or Sapha Nitibanyat Haeng Chat of no more than 220 members replaced the bicameral National Assembly; expanded to 250 members in September 2016; elections for a permanent legislative body are currently unscheduled and probably will not occur until mid-2017; the 2017 constitution calls for a 250-member military-appointed Senate with 5-year terms and a 500-member elected House of Representatives with 4-year terms
elections: Senate - last held on 30 March 2014; House of Representatives - last held on 2 February 2014, but later declared invalid by the Constitutional Court
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of court president, 6 vice-presidents, and 60-70 judges, and organized into 10 divisions); Constitutional Court (consists of court president and 8 judges); Supreme Administrative Court (number of judges determined by Judicial Commission of the Administrative Courts)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges selected by the Judicial Commission of the Courts of Justice and approved by the monarch; judge term determined by the monarch; Constitutional Court justices - 3 judges drawn from the Supreme Court, 2 judges drawn from the Administrative Court, and 4 judge candidates selected by the Selective Committee for Judges of the Constitutional Court and confirmed by the Senate; judges appointed by the monarch to serve single 9-year terms; Supreme Administrative Court judges selected by the Judicial Commission of the Administrative Courts and appointed by the monarch; judges appointed for life
subordinate courts: courts of first instance and appeals courts within both the judicial and administrative systems; military courts
Political parties and leadersChat Patthana Party or CPN (National Development Party) [WANNARAT Channukun]
Chat Thai Phatthana Party or CTP (Thai Nation Development Party) [THEERA Wongsamut]
Mahachon Party or Mass Party [APHIRAT Sirinawin]
Matuphum Party (Motherland Party) [Gen. SONTHI Bunyaratkalin]
Phalang Chon Party (People Chonburi Power Party) [SONTHAYA Khunpluem]
Phumchai (Bhumjai) Thai Party or PJT (Thai Pride) [ANUTHIN Chanwirakun]
Prachathipat Party or DP (Democrat Party) [ABHISIT Wechachiwa, also spelled ABHISIT Vejjajiva]
Prachathipatai Mai Party (New Democracy Party) [SURATIN Phichan]
Puea Thai Party (For Thais Party) or PTP [acting leader VIROT Paoin]
Rak Prathet Thai Party (Love Thailand Party) [acting leader Surapong WETCHAKORN]
Rak Santi Party (Peace Conservation Party) [Pol. Lt. Gen. THAWIN Surachetphong]
Political pressure groups and leadersMulticolor Group
People's Democratic Reform Committee or PDRC
Student and People Network for Thailand's Reform or STR
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or UDD
International organization participationADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, BIS, CD, CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador PHISAN Manawaphat (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600
FAX: [1] (202) 944-3611
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Glyn T. DAVIES (since 27 November 2015)
embassy: 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330
mailing address: APO AP 96546
telephone: [66] (2) 205-4000
FAX: [66] (2) 254-2990, 205-4131
consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai
Flag descriptionfive horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red; the red color symbolizes the nation and the blood of life; white represents religion and the purity of Buddhism; blue stands for the monarchy
note: similar to the flag of Costa Rica but with the blue and red colors reversed
National symbol(s)garuda (mythical half-man, half-bird figure), elephant; national colors: red, white, blue
National anthemname: "Phleng Chat Thai" (National Anthem of Thailand)
lyrics/music: Luang SARANUPRAPAN/Phra JENDURIYANG
note: music adopted 1932, lyrics adopted 1939; by law, people are required to stand for the national anthem at 0800 and 1800 every day; the anthem is played in schools, offices, theaters, and on television and radio during this time; "Phleng Sanlasoen Phra Barami" (A Salute to the Monarch) serves as the royal anthem and is played in the presence of the royal family and during certain state ceremonies

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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