Chief of The Administrative Reform Council - Membership and Key Positions

Membership and Key Positions

Sonthi received the appointment and blessing of king Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is quoted as saying, "So as to maintain peace and order in the nation, His Majesty the King has graciously granted a Royal Command appointing General Sonthi Boonyaratglin as Leader of the Council for Democratic Reform. The people is requested to remain calm while all public servants are to follow Orders issued by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, henceforth onwards." The junta consists of the leaders of all branches of the Thai military and police:

  • Army Commander General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, named Chief of the Council for Democratic Reform
  • Navy Commander Admiral Sathiraphan Keyanon, named first deputy chief of CDR
  • Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Chalit Pookpasuk, named second deputy chief of CDR
  • Police Commissioner-General Pol Lt Gen Kowit Wattana, named third deputy chief of CDR. Kowit was ousted from both his Police Commissioner-General and his junta leadership position in 5 February 2007, due to his investigation of junta involvement in the 2007 Bangkok bombings.
  • National Security Council Secretary-General Gen Winai Phatthiyakul, named Secretary-General of the CDR
  • Supreme Commander General Ruangroj Mahasaranon, named Chief Adviser to the CDR

A week after the coup, Sonthi's former classmate Gen Boonsrang Naimpradit was promoted from Deputy Supreme Commander to the post of Supreme Commander, replacing Ruangroj Mahasaranon. Junta Secretary General, Winai Phattiyakul, was promoted to the post of Permanent Secretary for Defence.

Gen Sonthi also promoted his fellow classmates and lieutenants in the coup, 1st Army Region Commander Lt-Gen Anupong Paochinda and 3rd Army Region Commander Lt-Gen Saprang Kalayanamitr, to the post of Assistant Army Commander.

On 22 September, the Council gave Police General Kowit Wattana absolute power over all police matters. He was also made Chair of a new National Police Commission, the membership of which had not yet been announced. The Commission will be assigned to amend the 2004 National Police Bill over the next year; the Bill had been originally been approved by the elected Parliament. Under the pre-coup legal framework, the Premier had been responsible for Chairing the Commission.

A later restructuring reflected power shifts among the junta, particularly an increase in the power of the army and a decrease in the power of the police and navy. Police chief Kowit Watana, who, after the coup, had reshuffle senior police personnel to weaken the power base of Thaksin Shinawatra, was demoted from junta Deputy Chief to merely a member. Navy Commander Admiral Sathiraphan Keyanond, who had been second in command of the junta, was also demoted to being merely a member.

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