Overview of Bangkok

Politics of Bangkok

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Politics of Thailand

History of Politics in Thailand

Until 1932, Thailand was under the sole rule of a monarch, but the political system now operates through a constitutional monarchy. Thailand's political scene was dominated by military and bureaucracy until 1988 which saw Chatichai Choonhavan of the Thai Nation party become the country's first democratically elected Prime Minister in more than a decade. From thereon in, Thailand's political system has been in a state of ever-changing flux.

According to the constitution, the three major independent authorities holding the balance of power are executive, legislative, and judicial.

Executive Politics in Thailand

The Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is head of government and she is part of the Pheu Thai Party.

The hereditary monarch (also referred to as the King of Thailand or historically as King of Siam) is head of state and head of the ruling Royal House of Chakri. King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej, has reigned since 1946 which means he is Thailand's longest reigning monarch and the longest serving head of state worldwide. The King has little direct power under the constitution and is instead more of a symbol of national identity and unity.

Legislative Branch in Thailand

The present cabinet has been in power since August 9th, 2011 and is comprised of five parties forming a governing coalition. Cabinet members do not have to be Members of Parliament.

Judiciary in Thailand

The Judiciary of Thailand is composed of three distinct systems:

  • Court of Justice system
  • Administrative Court system
  • Constitutional Court of Thailand

The current judicial system is organised in accordance with the 2007 Constitution of Thailand.

Corruption in Thai Government

Unfortunately, politics in Thailand have a long history of corruption. Traditions like giving gifts to officials are deeply engrained in the culture. This primarily concerns extortion and bribery related to buying land, and more recently, the energy sector.

Politics of Bangkok

As the capital, the city is the seat of all branches of the national government. The Government House, Parliament House and Supreme, Administrative and Constitutional Courts are all located within the city. Bangkok is also the site of the Grand Palace (official residence of the king) and Chitralada Villa (de facto residence of the king).

Bangkok is a special administrative area. A governor, currently M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra of the Democrat Party, is directly elected to serve a four-year term. The governor and four appointed deputies form the executive body and implement.

Each district elects one or more city councilors who form the Bangkok Metropolitan Council. The council is the BMA's legislative body.

Bangkok's Metropolitan Administration City Hall (BMA)

Address: 173 Dinso Road, Bangkok 10200
Telephone: 0-2221-2141-69
Bus: 10, 12, 35, 42

Political Uprisings in Bangkok

Bangkok's political scene has undergone student uprisings in 1973 and 1976 and many coup d'états. Anti-military demonstrations were seen in 1992, and since 2008 there have been several anti-governments protests by the "red" and "yellow" shirts, most famously in 2010.

Currently, things remain quiet in Bangkok and Thailand as a whole, but the country does remain in flux, and concerns are already being cautiously raised what the position will be once the present and much loved King passes away.

Update 15/09/2013

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