GOVERNMENT
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand
conventional short form: Thailand

Data code: TH
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Bangkok

Administrative divisions: 76 provinces (changwat, singular and plural)

Independence : 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonised)

National holiday: Birthday of His Majesty the King, 5 December (1927)

Constitution: new constitution signed by King PHUMIPHON on 11 October 1997

Legal system: based on civil law system, with influences of common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet (since 9 June 1946)
head of government: Prime Minister TAKSIN Shinawatra
cabinet: Council of Ministers
note: there is also a Privy Council
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister designated from among the members of the House of Representatives; following a national election for the House of Representatives, the leader of the party that can organize a majority coalition usually becomes prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Rathasapha consists of the Senate or Wuthisapha (a 253-member appointed body which will be phased into a 200-member elected body starting in March 2000; members serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Sapha Phuthaen Ratsadon (currently has 392 members, but will become a 500-member body after the next election; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 17 November 1996 (next scheduled to be held by 17 November 2000, but may be held earlier)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (San dika), judges appointed by the monarch

Flag description: five horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red