Thailand’s king puts key army units under palace authority

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has ordered some key army units to be transferred under his direct command in his latest move asserting the authority of the royal palace.

The king’s decree effective Tuesday puts two army units closely associated with royal security under the palace’s Royal Security Command, apparently moving them out of the army’s chain of command.

The decree says the move aims for efficiency and performance in protecting the royal circle.

Vajiralongkorn came to the throne in 2016 after the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for seven decades.

Since then he has assumed greater personal control of royal finances, estimated to exceed $40 billion. He has also asserted more power over the military and the governing body of Buddhist monks.

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