Overview and context
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Nationally Determined Contribution (UNFCCC website)
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy. Its legislative branch (National Assembly) consists of a lower house (House of Representatives) and an upper house (Senate).
On 7 August 2016, Thailand held a referendum which approved a new Constitution. The new constitution empowers the military junta to select all 250 members of the Senate and gives those a role in selecting the Prime Minister, previously held solely by the House of Representatives. The Constitution also gives the military power to issue emergency decrees without parliamentary consent.
Under the new Constitution, the House of Representatives has 500 members, who are elected in general elections every four years. The voting system is a mixed-member majoritarian system. Voters have two votes. With their first vote, they directly elect 350 members of parliament in single constituency elections through the first-past-the-post system. The second vote is then based on proportional representation on a party list basis. According to the overall share of second votes obtained, each party gets a proportion of the remaining 150 seats. The upper house or Senate has 250 members, all of whom are appointed by the Government for five years (note, that under the 2007 constitution, the Senate was partially elected).
Laws are introduced to the National Assembly in the form of bills, typically by the Council of Ministers. Money-related bills require the endorsement of the Prime Minister. Bills can also be introduced by a minimum of 20 members of the House of Representatives or by petition exceeding 10,000 signatures. The legislative cycle begins in the House of Representatives, where a bill is debated, amended and voted on. If approved, it is passed on to the Senate. The bill is passed if the Senate gives its direct approval or if the Senate has not completed consideration of the bill within 60 days. In the case of rejection by the Senate, the bill is returned to the House of Representatives for reconsideration. In the case of persistent disagreement between the two houses a joint committee is formed. The Senate is granted veto power over the House of Representatives with regards to amending the constitution. The committee prepares a report and the bill is resubmitted. It passes if both houses give their approval. Before a bill is formally enacted it must be signed into law by the King (Royal Assent) and published in the government Gazette.