New parliament to open next month
The Sappaya-Sapasathan, the new parliament house of Thailand, will be officially inaugurated on next month, according to Pornpit Petchcharoen, secretary-general of the House of Representatives.
The new parliament will open on May 1 after eight years of construction. Landscaping is being completed and furnishings put in. Parts of the building have housed meetings of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This building replaces the original parliament near Dusit Zoo. Sappaya-Sapasathan is located on Kiakkai Road along the Chao Phraya River. The project was initiated in July 2008, when Samak Sundaravej became prime minister.
Sappaya-Sapasathan sits on an area covering over 424,000 square metres, and cost 2 billion baht. It can accommodate more than 5,000 people and has parking space for about 2,000 cars. The main feature is the pagoda at the centre of the building. This is the meeting place of two chambers: the Senate, and the House of Representatives. There are also museums, a convention centre, a seminar room, a banquet hall and an office room.