NCPO calls up familiar figures to help run the show

national May 29, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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THE 10 ADVISERS to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) have been allocated four key affairs of state, namely security, finance and the economy, science and technology, and justice and legal affairs.

At security, former defence minister General Prawit Wongsuwan and former Army chief General Anupong Paochinda are friends who served in the famous Eastern Tigers unit during their careers alongside NCPO and incumbent Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The other advisers are former Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Itthaporn Subhawong, former Army adviser General Noppadol Intapanya and retired General Dapong Rattanasuwan, who was a deputy Army chief under Anupong. He played an active role as the deputy aide-de-camp for the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation in 2010. He retired from the military last October.

Over at the economy, MR Pridiyathorn Devakula is a former governor of the Bank of Thailand and was deputy prime minister and finance minister for just over five months between October 2006 and February 2007. He was a prominent critic of the previous government’s rice-pledging policy. He argued that net losses from the policy would increase Thailand’s debt burden.

He has been appointed as the vice chairman of the advisory team of the NCPO and will be head adviser in the economic team.

Dr Somkid Jatusripitak was a deputy prime minister from 2001-2004, a finance minister from 2001-2003, and commerce minister from 2004-2005 under former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He was one of the co-founders of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai party with Thaksin.

Somkid has proposed reform of all sectors of government after the political deadlock of recent times. In his advisory role for the NCPO he will focus on the economic sector because of his experience in finance and commerce.

Ex-commerce minister Narong-chai Akrasanee is a renowned economist. He has criticised populist policies promoted by the government of recently ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra including the rice-pledging scheme. In an interview yesterday, he said the economic advisory team was discussing measures to stimulate the economy and address the problems facing the rice industry as priorities.

Narongchai has held prominent posts in many economic organisations. He was executive chairman of the Export-Import Bank of Thailand, chairman of the Office of Knowledge Development and Management, and chairman of MFC Asset Management.

At science and technology is a former cabinet minister in those fields, Professor Yongyuth Yuthavong. He is also the former head of the National Science and Technology Development Agency and the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotech-nology.

At justice and legal affairs is Wissanu Krea-ngam who was ex-secretary-general to the Cabinet, a deputy PM in Thaksin’s government and a former member of the National Legislative Council in the Surayud Chulanont government. He is expected to play a leading role in the drafting of the new constitution.

Prayuth will meet with the advisers to discuss work guidelines today.

The NCPO intends to address 10 problems. These include armed resistance against political rivals, corruption, violation of lese majeste law, political division among Thai people, and invalid law enforcement.

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