Army reshuffle sees loyalists appointed

Army reshuffle sees loyalists appointed

New list paves way for Gen Prayut's post-election return

The key appointment in Military Reshuffle 2018 was Gen Apirat Kongsompong as commander of the Royal Thai Army through 2020. The son of a 1991 coup leader, Gen Apirat is a trusted loyalist of the current military leadership headed by coup leader Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. (File photo)
The key appointment in Military Reshuffle 2018 was Gen Apirat Kongsompong as commander of the Royal Thai Army through 2020. The son of a 1991 coup leader, Gen Apirat is a trusted loyalist of the current military leadership headed by coup leader Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. (File photo)

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 Saturday and takes effect on Oct 1.

Gen Apirat's promotion came as no surprise as it was already widely expected when he was appointed commander of the 1st Army in October 2016.

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