Thailand is governed by a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX of the Chakri Dynasty) serving as Head of State.
The monarch is the head of the armed forces and the upholder of every religion. The Thai constitution provides that the monarch is sacred and inviolable. As head of state the monarch exercises legislative authority through Parliament, executive power through the Prime Minister and his cabinet and judicial power through the court system. The monarch is empowered with the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn the government when it appears not to administer the state affairs for the good of the people.
The parliamentary system is by cameral and elected by popular vote in General Elections. All Thai citizens over 18 years old are entitled to vote for both Houses.
The lower House Representatives consists of 500 MPs. The upper house, the Senate, consists of 200 representatives who serve six year terms.
The Executive is headed by the Prime Minister and his cabinet and oversees 14 ministries and the Office of the Prime Minister which is a large department in its own right and responsible for the formulation and direction of national policy. Some of the important functions overseen by the PM’s Office are the Budget Bureau, the National Security Council, the Juridical Council, the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Board of Investment and the Civil Service Commission.
The Judicial system is classified on three levels. Courts of the First Instance include the general courts which comprise Civil Courts, Criminal Courts, Provincial Courts and Kwaeng Courts as well as Juvenile Courts, Family Courts and Specialised Courts. The second level consists of the Court of Appeal and nine provincial Courts of Appeal. At the top of the system is the Supreme Court.
A final important part of the Thai government is the armed forces under the Commander in Chief, His Majesty the King. The armed forces consist of the Royal Thai Army (RTA), the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) and are responsible for the defence of the realm and national security.
Below national government level Thailand is divided into 76 provinces who are administered by appointed governors. Provinces are further divided into districts (Amphurs), sub districts (Tambons) and villages (Moo Bans).
The country is divided into 76 provinces. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration comes under an elected governor. Appointed provincial governors administer the other 75 provinces (Changwat), which are divided into districts (Amphoe), sub-districts (Tambon) and villages (Mu Ban).