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FRIDAY, September 30, 2022
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More than just an advisory position

More than just an advisory position

TUESDAY, December 06, 2016
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IN ACCORDANCE with the Constitution, the Privy Council has the duty to render advice to the King on all matters pertaining to his functions that the monarch consults them on.

The council originates from a Western concept developed by absolute monarchies in Europe. It was brought to Thailand in the 19th century as the Kingdom began to modernise. The institution has functioned as a political entity since the era of the absolute monarchy, and was first established during the reign of King Rama V. 
The advisory council was originally set up in accordance with British traditions, so it was referred to only by the English-language term “Privy Council” when established here in 1874. The Thai-language term “Ongkha Montri” began to be used in 1892.
The council was disbanded |following the 1932 Revolution |but after the 1947 coup the then-junta re-established a similar advisory body for the King known as |the “Supreme State Council”. 
The Supreme State Council, which had a larger role in politics, functioned for only two years until the 1949 constitution replaced it with a new Privy Council. The status, roles and functions of the King’s advisory council established at that time continue to apply today. 
Many previous constitutions |have adjusted the number of privy councillors and stipulated different qualifications for people who are |eligible to serve on the council. 
According to the new constitution, the council is routinely commanded by the King to perform several functions:
Deliberate and summit views on matters that require the King’s signature;
Consider petitions for clemency from prisoners or other petitions from citizens;
Serve on behalf of the King’s initiatives or in service to Royal Initiated Projects;
Represent the King at special events such as merit-making ceremonies or laying wreaths on behalf of the King or other members of Royal Family;
Attend royal court functions.
It has always been widely speculated in the public and media that the privy councillors give advice to the King regarding the appointment or removal of military and civil service officials in positions that require royal endorsement. The constitutional monarchy is not supposed to intervene in the routine work of the government, neither are the King’s advisers. 
The council’s other duties required by the constitution in-|clude the submission of the name of the person who will hold office as regent, including when the president of the privy council functions as Regent pro tempore, as the current Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda did recently.
The Privy Council post is a lifelong job, vacated only upon the councillor’s death or resignation, or by royal command.