The new king’s Privy Council appointments are looking rather haphazard and lacking in advance planning.
Although we stated that it was widely expected that the new king would put his stamp on the Privy Council. In an earlier post, we stated that he’d done that in very quick time. At the end of the first week of December, a bunch of old-timers were shoved out and military senior officers and members of the ruling junta were brought in. About a week later, two more were appointed.
Some 10 days later, the Bangkok Post reports that another general has been hurriedly appointed.
General Kampanart Ruddit, a former assistant army chief, suddenly resigned from the puppet National Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. On Friday he became the 12th privy councilor (13 including 96 year-old General Prem Tinsulanonda, its president).
It seems odd that the king is adopting a drip-drip-drip approach to appointments. Had he not prepared? Or is it that the military and Prem are negotiating this?
General Kampanart is a loyalist. He was formerly a commander of the 1st Division of the Royal Guards, placing him close to the palace, and commander of the 1st Army region. Following the 2014 military coup, Kampanart was reported as having “played an active role in monitoring and cracking down on anti-coup and anti-monarchist elements in Bangkok and the central region.”
When he declared his wealth on being appointed to the NLA, the then Lt. Gen. reported just under 100 million baht. Not bad for one who is meant to live on his relatively low military salary.
Like others at the top, when the coup came in 2014, he was rewarded with a Directorship at the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. His brother, Admiral Luechai Ruddit, as navy chief of staff was appointed to the NLA in October.