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Thai military shake-up raises questions about Prayuth's authority

Redeployment of coup-prone regiments to temper political involvement

Thailand's long tradition of military coups, the last of which installed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in 2014, may have come to an end.    © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Gen. Apirat Kongsompong, Thailand's new army chief, is due to redeploy regiments involved in staging coups in a major military shake-up, a measure expected to diminish Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's influence both on the military and politics.

The redeployments, which involve moving a key regiment and a battalion out of the capital and reorganizing other key units, are due to take two years. To fill the breach, security in Bangkok will be handed over to the elite Royal Command Guard -- a disciplined "Praetorian Guard" that answers directly to King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

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