Thailand: Regime appoints protest leader to key post

  • Buddhipongse Punnakanta, a key leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protest, has been named the prime minister’s deputy secretary-general for political affairs, according to Col Athisit Chainuvat, assistant spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office.
  • Mr Buddhipongse was appointed by the cabinet during its meeting on 11 Sep 18.
  • He is among nine PDRC protest leaders fighting insurrection charges after prosecutors indicted them for their “Bangkok shutdown” demonstrations to oust the Yingluck Shinawatra government in early 2014.
  • IHe has also been put in charge of coordinating work between the government and the National Legislative Assembly, according to Col Athisit. It is the second such sudden employment of a key street protestor facing criminal charges.
  • In Apr 18, the government ordered the urgent appointment of Sakoltee Phattiyakul to the position of deputy governor of Bangkok to assist governor Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang. He also was a core PDRC member, street-protest leader and is facing charges of violence and violating a ban on political crowds.

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