BANGKOK – Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday stated that the Cabinet member reshuffle list has been completed and will be implemented at the right time.
According to the Bangkok Post, Gen Theerachai Nakwanich will likely become the new army chief while Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha, the prime minister’s brother, will be defence permanent secretary, according to a source.
In coup-plagued Thailand, the army chief position is considered the most coveted and influential one in the country, since it involves commanding a 200,000-strong armed force. Other positions, while on the same payscale, are not as much sought after, including the permanent secretary post.
It has been a tight race. Both generals will retire next year, meaning the October 2015 reshuffle is their only chance of commanding the army.
General Prayut declined to comment on the possibility of extending his government’s term. However, he urged the media not to quote destructive comment from politicians, saying that it may cause societal unrest.
Prime Minister General Prayut added that Thailand would truly move forward when politicians see eye to eye on national reform.
The Premier also touched on demoting former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s police rank, saying the matter is being discussed by the Ministry of Justice. If the demotion is carried out, the matter would be forwarded to the Royal Thai Police before reaching General Prayut for final execution.