Privy Council at full strength after inclusion of Prayut
The appointment of former prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has raised the membership strength of the Privy Council to the maximum allowed 18, excluding the president, as mandated by Section 10 of the current Constitution.
According to Section 11, His Majesty the King holds the authority to independently appoint or remove members of the Privy Council. The duties of the council members involve offering advice to the King.
The president of the Privy Council is vested with the authority to serve as a regent in case a person the King picked to carry out the official duties of a monarch is unable to do so.
Since its establishment in 1874, five former prime ministers have served as members of the Privy Council. They include current Privy Council president Surayud Chulanont, who served as prime minister after the 2006 coup. Here is a look at all the members.
What is the Privy Council of Thailand?
The Privy Council is a body of advisors to the Monarchy. The council, as the Constitution of Thailand stipulates, must be composed of no more than 18 members and is led by the president of the Council.
The king alone appoints all members of the council. The council’s offices are in the Privy Council Chambers, Saranrom Royal Garden, near The Grand Palace, Bangkok.
The 2017 Constitution gave the privy council many roles and powers. These are mostly associated with issues surrounding the monarchy and performing missions as determined or assigned by the king.
The first Privy Council in Siam was set up by royal decree on May 8, 1874, during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, as the personal advisor to the King.
He created two councils: the Privy Council of Siam with 49 members and the “Council of State” later renamed the Council of Ministers with 12.
The privy council was created to deal with legislative affairs while the latter became an early version of the cabinet.
The councillors cannot be partisan and therefore cannot be members of the House of Representatives, Senate, Election Commission, Ombudsman, members of the National Human Rights Commission, judges of the Constitutional Court, judges of an Administrative Court, members of the National Counter Corruption Commission, members of the State Audit Commission, government officials holding a permanent position or receiving a permanent salary, officials of a state enterprise, other state official or holder of other position of member or official of a political party, and must not manifest loyalty to any political party.
Privy councillors are not however prohibited from sitting on the boards of influential companies.
After being appointed the councillors must take an oath in the presence of the king to assume office.
A councillor vacates office upon death, resignation, or at royal command.