Irony of mini coup not lost on Thailand’s Interior Minister

The irony doesn’t appear to be lost on Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda that there was something of a mini coup against him from within his party at last week’s censure debate.

Gen Anupong, of course, is one of the three generals at the centre of the military coup which took place in Thailand in May 2014 along with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon. And last week it appears he was the victim of a mini-revolt.

Six MPs from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, Krungsriwilai Sutinphuak, Thapakorn Kulcharoen, Prim Pooncharoen, Yongyuth Suwanbutr, Akarawat Asavahame and Torsak Asvahame, refused to toe the party line and cast a no-confidence vote against Gen Anupong.

The mini coup, or revolt, appears to be a dissatisfaction with Gen Anupong for ignoring the budget needs of his constituents in Samut Prakan. But the general dismissed he was to blame and that the budget distribution delays were because they were wrapped up in bureaucracy.

It is believed those same six MPs, and others, want Gen Anupong replaced as Interior Minister in a cabinet reshuffle now that the government survived the censure debate. They believe that Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon would be better suited to the role.

The 72 year old was similarly dismissive of any cabinet reshuffle and whether he would lose his position.

“If there should be a cabinet shake-up, it is up to the prime minister to decide. There’s no reason to fear. No matter what changes may be in store, the fellowship between the three ‘Por’ generals will never break.”

Gen Anupong said he was not despondent that MPs from his party had turned in votes of censure against himself and Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin.

Gen Anupong received the most no-confidence votes with 212 while Suchart received 208.

Torsak defended the right to use his vote how best he saw fit.

“The six of us had tried to push for development projects in Samut Prakan but received no support from the Interior Ministry. We are always conscious of what we do. We may be villains in the eyes of some but heroes to others.”

Meanwhile, Gen Prawit yesterday dismissed rumours of disharmony in the camp since the no-confidence vote.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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