Prawit becomes caretaker prime minister
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan became the caretaker prime minister after General Prayut Chan-o-cha was suspended from duty by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.
Being the first deputy premier, Prawit automatically became caretaker prime minister following Prayut’s suspension.
The second prime minister is Wissanu Krea-ngam.
Earlier, the court voted 5:4 to accept for deliberation an opposition petition on whether Prayut’s tenure should expire on Wednesday. The court also accepted a request in the petition to suspend Prayut from duty pending a ruling.
On Tuesday, Wissanu said Prawit would be the caretaker prime minister and Prayut would continue to work as the defence minister if the court suspended him from his PM duty.
Prawit is considered the eldest brother of the so-called three General Ps – Prawit, Prayut and Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda, whose nickname is Gen Pok.
The three General Ps have always been part of Prayut’s Cabinet since the coup on May 22, 2014.
Prawit was born on August 11, 1945.
He is considered a “soldier politician”, being defence minister twice – from 2008 to 2011 and 2014 to 2019.
Prawit held the powerful post of Army commander-in-chief in 2004 and 2005.
He became deputy chief of the National Council for Peace and Order that seized power on May 22, 2014, later going on to lead the Palang Pracharath Party.
Prawit finished secondary school at St Gabriel’s School in 1992. He completed Class 6 at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School in 1965 and then graduated from Class 17 at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in 1969.
He later attended the Royal Thai Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1997 and completed a Class 40 defence course at the National Defence College in 2013.
Prawit advanced in his career in the First Army Area, especially in the 21st Infantry Regiment (Queen’s Guards).
Needless to say, he is very close to Anupong and Prayut.