Depends how you count then, but 15-16 seems to be The Dictator’s answer. The new cabinet is a bit smaller than the previous one, meaning that military and police types have more seats than in the previous junta-dominated cabinet.
General Prayuth Chan-ocha was his usual angry self when reporters pointed out that the new cabinet was more military dominated than the previous one:
“So what when the new cabinet has more generals…. What happened with the past (governments) when there were none…?”
The Dictator needs lots of generals around him, no matter how dim they are, for the respect they give him and because he prefers to operate in a hierarchical milieu.
We can think of plenty of answers to the general’s query, but it was a rhetorical question. The Dictator can’t conceive of any arrangement where civilians, especially elected ones, could ever be permitted to rule in Thailand. He considers military men the nation’s “natural” rulers.
If we were to observe anything positive in the changes made to the cabinet it is that The Dictator got rid of two serial failures who get positions for the capacity to represent the royalist duffers who think they run the country. We have previously mentioned wealthy minor prince Pridiyathorn Devakula as a lazy and failed former finance minister from a previous military-backed government and failed businessman and serial minister Narongchai Akrasanee. Both are gone.
The military dominance of cabinet indicates a determination to maintain military rule for some time to come.