Thai junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha set to become Prime Minister after parliament backing
The appointment appears to be aimed at maintaining power as the military implements sweeping political reforms
Thursday 21 August 2014
Three months after overthrowing an elected government, Thailand’s junta leader is stepping out of his army uniform to take up the post of Prime Minister, in a move critics say will prolong his rule and bolster the military’s grip on power.
Thailand’s parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of handing General Prayuth Chan-ocha the new job. There was little doubt over the outcome since he was the only candidate and the assembly – hand-picked by the junta – is dominated by active and retired duty officers.
The 60-year-old leader is to retire from the army next month and until then will hold both positions.
The appointment appears to be aimed at maintaining power as the military implements sweeping political reforms, which critics say are designed to purge the ousted ruling party’s influence and benefit an elite minority that has failed to win national elections for more than a decade.
General Prayuth has, in effect, served as the de facto Prime Minister since staging the 22 May coup. For several years before that, he held the position of army chief, a post many regard as one of the country’s most powerful. Thailand’s military has a history of intervening in politics and has seized power 12 times since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932.
“He could have refused the job, but what would be the point?” said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai professor of South-east Asian studies at Japan’s Kyoto University. “If he wasn’t Prime Minister, he would have been manipulating the Prime Minister from behind the scenes,” he added.
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Isis 'throw man off a building for homosexual affair' and beat him to death when he survives
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...