Generals dominate new Thai king’s Privy Council
Thailand’s new King Maha Vajiralongkorn has filled a powerful advisory body with top army brass including three generals linked to the ruling junta, according to a statement on Tuesday.
The move illustrates the close military-royal alliance that has defined Thai politics for the last five decades, an era that has seen brief flirtations with democracy punctuated by multiple palace-endorsed coups.
The royal succession is a highly sensitive topic in Thailand, where criticism of the monarchy is banned, and has thrust the kingdom into a new era of uncertainty.
The new appointees are three top generals associated with the junta. Two are members of the military government’s current cabinet, Justice Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya and Education Minister General Dapong Ratansuwan.
The third new member is General Teerachai Nakvanich, who became army chief under the junta in 2015 and retired earlier this year.
They join three ex-generals who keep their positions, giving the armed forces a majority on the council.