Prayut orders haste in reshuffle of officials

Prayut orders haste in reshuffle of officials

List must meet royal cremation deadlines

Construction of the main buildings for the October cremation of the late King Bhumibol is continuing on schedule. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha inspected the Sanam Luang site on Thursday. (Photo via Twitter/@wassanananuam)
Construction of the main buildings for the October cremation of the late King Bhumibol is continuing on schedule. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha inspected the Sanam Luang site on Thursday. (Photo via Twitter/@wassanananuam)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the reshuffle list of officials in all ministries, including those in the military, to be ready by next month, as they need to be prepared for the royal cremation ceremonies of the late King.

A military source said commanders of each armed force will hand over their reshuffle lists to Supreme Commander Surapong Suwana-adth next Friday.

The lists will be handed to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon late this month.

"The reshuffle lists are normally concluded early in September, but this year they will be done earlier so officials will know their new positions so they can prepare work ahead of the royal ceremonies," the source said.

Gen Prawit said there was "nothing to be worried about" regarding the reshuffle lists this year.

All names submitted by chiefs of the armed forces would be deliberated and there will be no talks with the prime minister about the matter.

Assistant army chief Theppong Thippayachan is tipped to become permanent secretary for defence. He comes from Burapha Phayak (Tigers of the East), the nickname of the military clique attached to the Prachin Buri-based 2nd Infantry Division, the Queen's Guard.

Gen Prawit is part of the Burapha Phayak, along with key figures including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda.

Assistant navy chief Naris Prathumsuwan and navy chief-of-staff Luechai Ruddit are believed to be vying to be the new navy commander. Asked whether who would be chosen, Gen Prawit said: "The navy chief would deal with the matter. There is nothing to be worried about."

ACM Chaiyapruk Didyasarin, assistant commander-in-chief of the air force, is tipped to become the deputy air force chief. He is in line to replace air force chief Johm Rungswang late next year.

First army region commander Apirat Kongsompong and second army region chief Vichai Saejohor are tipped to be assistants to the army chief. They would be vying for the army chief position late next year.

Army chief-of-staff Sasin Thongpakdee is tipped to become deputy army commander. He would be replaced by Lt Gen Nattapon Nakpanich, deputy army chief of staff, the source said.

Lt Gen Kukiat Srinaka, chief of the first army corps, is tipped to become the new first army region commander.

He missed the promotion in the last reshuffle after the prime minister reportedly pushed Lt Gen Apirat to become the commander.

Lt Gen Kukiat also comes from Burapha Phayak.

Deputy commander of the first army region, Maj Gen Thammanoon Withi, is reported to become the chief of the first army corps. He and another deputy commander of the first army region, Santipong Thampiya, are said to be vying for the new commander next year.

Maj Gen Ekarat Changkaew, chief-of-staff of the first army corps, is tipped to be made the chief of the first division, King's Guard. Deputy chief of the first division, Col Songwit Nunpakdee, is said to become the chief of the 11th Military Circle.


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