Thailand’s military released the names of the incoming heads of various branches of the armed forces late Monday, including a new Army Chief.
General Udomdej Sitabutr will replace current Army Chief and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha as the Army Commander at the end of September, when Mr. Prayuth’s term as head of the Army concludes.
General Udomdej’s appointment signals the continued dominance of a faction of the Thai Army known as the Eastern Tigers, from which the country’s last three Army Commanders have come.
Political commentators have noted that the group was largely behind the May 22nd coup, which took power after months of political infighting and violence.
“I think they clearly want to consolidate power and show no signs of tolerating dissent,” Panuwat Panduprasert, a lecturer in Chiang Mai University’s Political Science department, told DPA.
“They want to make sure that the political structure that comes after this will guarantee the central role of traditional Thai institutions.”