Prayut Chan-o-cha

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Prayut Chan-o-cha (2016)

Prayut Chan-o-cha (also Prayuth Chan-ocha; Thai ประยุทธ์ จันทร์ โอชา , RTGS Prayut Chan-ocha , pronunciation: [ pràʔjút t͡ɕanʔoːt͡ɕʰaː ]; born March 21, 1954 in Nakhon Ratchasima Province , northeastern Thailand ) is a Thai army officer and politicians. He has been Prime Minister of Thailand since 2014 .

From 2010 to 2014 Prayut was commander in chief of the Thai army . On May 20, 2014, he declared martial law. Since a coup d'état on May 22nd, he has been the head of a military junta called the “National Council for the Maintenance of Peace”. On August 21, 2014, the interim parliament set up by the military leadership also formally elected him Prime Minister. He was confirmed in office after elections in March 2019 .

Military career

Prayut in the uniform of the Royal Guard; behind his wife Naraporn (2011)

After graduating from the Chulachomklao Military Academy (23rd year), he served in the 21st Infantry Regiment, the Queen's Life Guard. He later attended the General Staff School and the National Defense College .

In 2002 he became deputy commander, in 2003 commander of the 2nd Infantry Division, in 2005 deputy commanding general and in 2006 commanding general of the first army region based in Bangkok. In this position he played an important role in the 2006 coup in Thailand . After the coup, he was a member of the appointed National Legislative Assembly. He was a member of the Environment and Raw Materials Committee and was a member of the board of directors of the state-owned electricity utility MEA. From 2007 to 2010 he was Independent Director at Thai Oil Public Co Ltd.

In 2008 he was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Army. When the government of Samak Sundaravej declared a state of emergency in September 2008 in view of the siege of the government building by activists of the People's Alliance for Democracy ("yellow shirts"), Prayut became the deputy in charge of resolving the emergency situation. In January 2009 he was made an honorary adjutant to the king. From 2009 to 2010 he was Deputy Army Commander-in-Chief, Anupong Paochinda .

On October 1, 2010, he was appointed as the successor to Anupong as the highest commander of the land forces, a post that has traditionally been given great political importance in Thailand. At the same time, he was in charge of the Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) , which was formed during the protests and riots of the “red shirts” in April 2010 . As Supreme Commander of the Army, he was also president of the Army United football club, which is represented in the Thai Premier League, and a member of the board of directors at TMB Bank .

Putsch and term as prime minister

Prayut Chan-o-cha (2014)

As part of the political crisis that has persisted since November 2013 , Prayut imposed martial law on May 20, 2014 and headed a “Command for the Maintenance of Peace and Order”, which has extensive powers. He stressed, however, that the caretaker government was still in office and that the intervention was not a coup. Only two days later, however, he disempowered the government and took over direct rule himself after he declared that his talks with the various political forces to resolve the conflict had failed. He has since headed a military government called the National Council for the Maintenance of Peace (NCPO) and has exercised the powers of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet until further notice.

On August 21, 2014, the National Legislative Assembly selected by the military leadership elected him Prime Minister. His term of office as army chief ended on September 30, 2014. He was succeeded by General Udomdej Sitabutr . But Prayut retained the offices of NCPO chairman and prime minister.

In March 2019, the junta held a parliamentary election after several postponements . Prayut's supporters previously founded the Phalang Pracharat Party (PPRP). This nominated Prayut as their candidate for the office of prime minister without his being officially a member of the party. The PPRP was the party with the strongest vote with 23.7% of the vote, but only received 116 of the 500 seats in the House of Representatives . In weeks of negotiations, Prayut succeeded in joining the Democratic Party , the Bhumjaithai Party and 16 smaller parties to form a coalition. In addition, according to the constitution of 2017, both chambers of parliament of the National Assembly vote together, with the 250 members of the Senate being appointed by the “National Council for the Preservation of Peace” or by the military. Ultimately, Prayut received 251 of the 500 votes in the House of Representatives and 249 of the 250 in the Senate. On June 11th he was sworn in for a second term.

In the summer and autumn of 2020 there were protests and calls for resignation against Chan-o-cha, whereupon he imposed a ban on assembly and censored the press. The protests were led by a student Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul and were directed against both the monarchy of Maha Vajiralongkorn and the government.


Prayut's wife Naraporn is Professor Emeritus of English as a Foreign Language at the Language Institute at Chulalongkorn University . They have twin adult daughters. In his spare time he plays golf .

In October 2014, he told the National Anti-Corruption Commission that the sum of his assets was 102 million baht . An additional 26.3 million baht belonged to his wife. Several cars (including a Mercedes-Benz S600L and a BMW 740Li ), jewelry and luxury watches (three Rolex ) were taken into account. Prayut also owned a number of handguns.

"Tiger of the East"

Like his immediate predecessor Anupong Paochinda and the former Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan , Prayut belongs to the inner-military clique of the "Tigers of the East" (Burapha Phayuk) . All three began their careers in the 2nd Infantry Division stationed in eastern Thailand, particularly the 21st Infantry Regiment, the Queen's Life Guard. Prayut's successor at the head of the army, Udomdej Sitabutr, is also included in this group.

Prayut's younger brother, General Preecha Chan-o-cha, was a member of the National Legislative Assembly (a kind of appointed parliament) established by the military, assistant to the Army Commander in Chief from 2014 to 2015 and State Secretary in the Ministry of Defense from 2015 to 2016 .

Web links

Commons : Prayut Chan-o-cha  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. About € 2.5 million at the rate at that time
  2. About € 644,000 at the rate at the time

Individual evidence

  1. ประยุทธ์ จันทร์ โอชา . In:
  2. A clique cement their power. In: taz . Retrieved October 4, 2010 .
  3. Prayut Chan-O-Cha: Executive Profile & Biography. In: Bloomberg Businessweek.
  4. Till Fähnders: A coup that shouldn't be one. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine. May 20, 2014.
  5. ↑ The military takes power in Thailand. In: May 22, 2014.
  6. Thailand's junta leader can be elected Prime Minister., August 21, 2014.
  7. ^ Supreme General can be elected head of government. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine (Online), August 21, 2014.
  8. Maraan Macan-Markar: Thailand caught in power struggle as Prayuth forms coalition cabinet. In: Nikkei Asian Review , June 6, 2019.
  9. Thailand's military-backed PM voted in after junta creates loose coalition. In: The Guardian , June 5, 2019.
  10. Thailand prohibits gatherings - and censors news. , October 15, 2020, accessed on October 15, 2020 .
  11. ^ Coup leader Prayuth is Thailand's new PM. Channel News Asia, August 21, 2014.
  12. Chris Blake: Thailand's Junta Leader Has Millions in Cash, Cars, Luxury Goods. In: Bloomberg , October 31, 2014.
  13. Avudh Panananda: Is Prayuth the best choice amid signs of Army rivalry? In: The Nation. June 8, 2010.
  14. John Cole, Steve Sciacchitano: Thai military resists political pressure. ( Memento from February 21, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: Asia Times Online. October 13, 2012.
  15. Wassana Nanuam: 'Silent' military coup beats having a real one. In: Bangkok Post. December 12th 2013.
  16. Wassana Nanuam: Will this crisis lead to another coup? In: Bangkok Post. 2nd January 2014.
  17. The latest 'Tiger' to lead the Army. In: The Nation , October 1, 2014.
  18. Chris Blake: Roar of Thai Army's Eastern Tigers Boosts Prayuth's Power. In: Bloomberg , October 1, 2014.
  19. Nattaya Chetchotiros, Aekarach Sattaburuth, Prangthong Jitcharoenkul: Outcry builds for NLA asset probe. In: Bangkok Post , October 7, 2014.
  20. Pavin Chachavalpongpun: Thai Junta Beset By Corruption Scandals. In: The Diplomat , October 12, 2014.