Army reshuffle sees loyalists appointed

  • The annual military reshuffle has seen the appointment of assistant army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong as the new army chief – a position perceived to be critical to smoothing the way for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to reclaim his premiership and stay on in power after the next election.
  • The reshuffle, which involved 935 senior officers with ranks equivalent to colonel and upward, was published in the Royal Gazette on 1 Sep 18 and takes effect on 1 Oct 18.
  • Gen Apirat’s promotion came as no surprise as it was already widely expected when he was appointed commander of the 1st Army in Oct 16.
  • Gen Apirat is known to have had Gen Prayut support for a large part of his career, giving rise to speculation that the army under his leadership will back Gen Prayut’s return to power after the poll set tentatively for 24 Feb 18.
  • Gen Apirat will retain his positions as secretary to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and commander of its peace-keeping forces.
  • Other new-appointees are also seen as strong backers of Gen Prayut.
  • Defence Ministry, Gen Nat Intaracharoen, deputy permanent secretary, is promoted to permanent secretary.
  • Gen Pornpipat Benyasri, chief-of-staff at the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, becomes its commander.
  • At the Royal Thai Navy, deputy commander Adm Luechai Ruddit will become its commander, while assistant commander ACM Chaiyapruk Ditsayasarin is promoted to commander of the Royal Thai Air Force.

External Link: https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1532274/apirat-named-new-army-chief

External Link: https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1532774/army-reshuffle-sees-loyalists-appointed

3-Sep-2018


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