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Politics

Rising clout of King's Guard dims Thai junta's political hopes

April's military promotions see Bangkok-based officers regaining upper hand

April's Royal Guard promotions show a shift in the military's controlling generals   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand's former army chief, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, celebrates the fourth anniversary next month of ousting what remained of the elected caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Prayuth has lasted longer than military governments installed in 1991 and 2006, but approaching officer promotions could signal stormier clouds ahead. 

Seasoned observers say the annual mid-year promotions this month portend a decline in the influence of the 21st Infantry Regiment, also known as the Queen's Guard, and its broader base, the Second Infantry Division, collectively dubbed the Eastern Tigers, which are responsible for territories east of Bangkok stretching to the Cambodian border.

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