Thailand’s caretaker Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha made key appointments in the armed forces, including the high-profile army chief, just days before the former coup leader exits the office.
(Bloomberg) — Thailand’s caretaker Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha made key appointments in the armed forces, including the high-profile army chief, just days before the former coup leader exits the office.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn endorsed the appointment of Charoenchai Hinthao as the new army chief on Prayuth’s recommendation, according to a Royal Gazette published late Wednesday. Other appointments included Songwit Noonpakdee as the commander of defense forces, Panpakdee Pattanakul as the head of air force and Adung Pan-Iam as navy chief.
More than 700 other officers were also appointed to new positions effective Oct. 1 in the annual reshuffle, according to the notification.
Charoenchai will be the third general linked to the elite King’s Royal Guard unit to take the army’s top position since Apirat Kongsompong, who is now the vice chamberlain of the Bureau of the Royal Household.
Prayuth, a former army chief who seized power in a 2014 coup and was selected to stay in power after an election in 2019, is set to leave office in the coming days after almost a decade in power. Former property tycoon Srettha Thavisin was elected Thailand’s new prime minister last week, ending more than three months of political deadlock after the May election.
Thailand’s army chief is a highly-watched position in a country that has seen at least a dozen coups since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.
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