Country Listing

Thailand Table of Contents



Party and Government: Constitutional monarchy established 1932. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1946- ) formally reigns over highly centralized unitary state, but real decision making in affairs of state rests with prime minister, in late 1987 General Prem Tinsulanonda. Prime minister need not be elected member of National Assembly, the national legislature; can assume position solely by assertion of leadership, with his role subsequently legitimized through pro forma royal appointment. Governmental system based on Constitution promulgated in December 1978 and divided into executive, bicameral legislature (House of Representatives and Senate), and judiciary. Multiparty system with sixteen parties participating in 1986 election; partisan politics gaining in importance but still largely a function of personalities. Practical politics confined mostly to members of military-bureaucratic elites and their supporters.

Administrative Divisions: Country divided into seventythree provinces (changwat); subdivisions include districts (amphoe), subdistricts (king amphoe), communes (tambon), villages (muban), and municipalities (tesaban).

Judicial System: Judiciary consists of Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, magistrates' courts, labor and juvenile courts, and courts of first instance. Judges appointed and removed only with approval of Judicial Service Commission, which exercises jurisdiction over courts. Ministry of Justice appoints and supervises administrative personnel and determines matters of judicial procedure.

Foreign Affairs: Strong interest shown in development of multilateral relations with neighboring countries through Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); in early 1987, major concern of Thailand and ASEAN was continuing presence of Vietnamese troops in Cambodia.

Data as of September 1987