December 10 is Constitution Day in Thailand, a day to remember the adoption of the country’s first permanent constitution in 1932

History of Constitution Day

At the start of the 1930s, Thailand (then called Siam) was suffering economically from the effects of the great depression. The king at the time was Rama VII, who was seen by many as lacking the experience necessary to deal with all the issues that were affecting his country.

This led to a group of intellectuals and senior military personnel forming a group called the people’s party who presented the king with the option to stay in power but have his power reduced, creating a constitutional monarchy.

Under the new constitution, the king and monarchy remained in place with the king as head of state, head of the military and defender of all religions.

Since 1932, Thailand has had 18 constitutions or charters. Many of the redrafted versions, from which the authority to implement all other laws is based, have been adopted following military coups, including the current administration, which introduced its version on April 6th 2017. The one constant has been that all the changes are a variation of a constitutional monarchy.

This constant of the monarchy during times of great change reflects the respect and admiration that the Thai people have for their monarchy.