Prawit moved to 'ease work'
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday denied claims that the removal of Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon from the new 17-member National Anti-Corruption Committee had anything to do with the latter's luxury wristwatch scandal.
The premier said Gen Prawit was dropped from the anti-corruption body so that he could have more time to focus on other issues, noting that Gen Prawit serves on more than 50 committees.
"It has nothing to do with the ongoing investigation into wristwatches. The change has been made to ease Gen Prawit's workload and free up his time to allow him to work more efficiently on other committees," said Gen Prayut.
Gen Prawit's wealth was called into question after he was spotted wearing a luxury watch during a cabinet members' group photo session on Dec 4 of last year. The deputy premier has been noted to wear over 20 different luxury timepieces, none of which were declared to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
According to Gen Prayut, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya will take over the vacant post.
His remark came after the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) appointment of the new members of the anti-graft body tasked with setting measures to strengthen efforts in the prevention and suppression of corruption.
In the order published in Royal Gazette on Wednesday, Gen Prawit was dropped from the body.
His absence from the committee created a little stir in the wake of the wristwatch scandal being investigated by the NACC.
The new 17-member committee is chaired by Gen Prayut in his capacity as the NCPO chief. It comprises of both active armed forces leaders and civilians involved in campaigns against corruption including Tortrakul Yomnak.