Thailand coup leader a strong defender of monarchy

May 23, 2014 11:14 AM

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In orchestrating the coup Thursday, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha was exercising what is almost a traditional prerogative of Thai army commanders: The country has endured 12 successful coups since becoming a constitutional monarchy in 1932.

He spent most of his career in the 21st Infantry Regiment, known as the Queen’s Guard, and has shown particular loyalty to Queen Sirikit, consort of 86-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He played a key role in the 2006 coup that toppled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, but became commander in chie...

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