PM fires Pattaya City mayor, appoints Sonthaya as his successor
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today fired the Pattaya City mayor and replaced him with Sonthaya Khunplum, a political advisor to the prime minister and a member of the politically influential Khunplum clan which dominates the eastern provinces.
Sonthaya is the leader of Palang Chon Party which is seen as a political ally of the National Council for Peace and Order and part of the political base that will ensure Gen Prayut’s return to power after the election.
Exercising his special power under Section 44 of the interim Constitution in his capacity as the head of NCPO, Gen Prayut ordered an immediate removal of Pol Maj-Gen Anant Charoenchasri as the mayor of Pattaya City and, at the same time appointed Sonthaya Khunplum as the new mayor.
No reason was given why Pol Maj-Gen Anant was fired, but it was speculated that his dismissal stemmed from the city’s failure to address several problems in the popular resort town, such as frequent floodings which affected the tourist industry there.
Sonthaya and his brother, Itthiphol, were in April appointed political advisors to the prime minister and was also made vice minister of tourism and sports.