Local news

Retired army general replaced with civilian as defence minister


By Thai Newsroom Reporter

UNDER PRESSURE FROM Red Shirt members, the Pheu Thai has replaced a retired army general with a civilian to assume the post of defence minister, a partisan source said today (Aug.28).

The Pheu Thai under de facto party boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has finally bowed to the otherwise mounting pressure from Red Shirt members in the provinces, especially in Pathum Thani and Khon Kaen, against the naming of Nattapon Nakpanit, the retired army general, for defence minister amidst allegations that he had been more or less involved in 2010’s quelling of Red Shirt protesters in Bangkok streets which reportedly resulted in 99 deaths and over 2,000 injuries.

Nattapon is largely viewed as a close protege of de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who orchestrated the 2014 coup as army chief to seize power from an elected government under Thaksin’s sister/deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Those pro-Pheu Thai activists had reportedly planned to conduct mass protests in the capital and elsewhere against the naming of Prayut’s protege for defence minister.

In effort to lessen the Red Shirt frustrations at a surprise about-face made by the Pheu Thai to bring the pro-military Ruam Thai Sang Chart and Palang Pracharath into their coalition government, the retired army general has been replaced for the defence portfolio with the civilian, namely Pheu Thai MP Suthin Khlangsaeng, who had been earlier tipped to be culture minister, the source said.

Meanwhile, Panpree Pahitthanukorn will be deputy prime minister-cum-foreign minister under the Pheu Thai quota whilst Pheu Thai MP Julapun Amornvivat who had been earlier tipped to take the foreign portfolio will be deputy finance minister.

Panpree used to perform as Thailand’s Trade Representative in the time of a previous Thaksin government.


Top and Front Page: Red Shirt activists protesting in Bangkok a few years ago.

Insert: Retired army general Nattapon Nakpanit. All photos: Thai Rath

Also read: No special parking arrangement for Thaksin’s visitors at Police Hospital

Pita urges Srettha cabinet to fulfil promises to the people

Most people don’t believe in Pheu Thai design to melt polarisation: NIDA Poll

AOT rushes to ease congestion at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang while pushing Phang Nga airport

Srettha confirms planned Phang Nga airport would be for large aircraft

Allocation of cabinet seats among coalition partners completed

Pheu Thai popularity rating drops to 10%: Sripatum Poll

Srettha off to Phuket to resolve tourism woes

New constitution campaign gets over 50,000 signatures before deadline

Thanathorn urges public to sign petition to draft new charter


2 Replies to “Retired army general replaced with civilian as defence minister

Leave a Reply