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Gen Kriangkrai Srirak: Poised to Tackle Thailand’s Provincial Security as Potential Senate Speaker

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Gen Kriangkrai Srirak, who emerged victorious with the most votes in the public administration and security professional group during last week’s Senate election, is elated by the buzz that he might step into the role of Senate Speaker. If indeed, he garners the trust of the Senate’s majority, Gen Kriangkrai has no qualms about taking on the pivotal Upper House position, he asserted on Thursday.

His heartfelt passion, however, lies predominantly in the domain of the Senate’s security duties. Specifically, he’s deeply invested in addressing security concerns in the southernmost provinces of Thailand — Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat. These regions have long been entrenched in complex security issues that demand adept handling, a challenge that Gen Kriangkrai appears ready to embrace.

Observers often regard him as a figurehead among the elected senators who are seemingly backed by the Bhumjaithai Party. Notably, Gen Kriangkrai, who stepped down from a glittering career about a year ago, recently served as the chief adviser to Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, an eminent leader of Bhumjaithai. Their camaraderie dates back to their days as classmates in the esteemed National Defence College’s study program, a famed networking initiative designed for leaders in both political and business arenas.

An anonymous source indicates that another strong contender for the Senate Speaker position is Senator-elect Mongkol Surasajja. Mr. Mongkol, who previously excelled as the director-general of the Department of Provincial Administration and Governor of Buri Ram, is also among the ten winning candidates in the same professional bracket as Gen Kriangkrai. Pundits view Mr. Mongkol as another close ally of Bhumjaithai. Their rapport is evidently strong; they have both been closely affiliated with the Interior Ministry post-retirement and currently serve as advisers to Deputy Interior Minister Songsak Thongsri, who also has connections with Bhumjaithai, according to inside sources.

Amidst these high-profile alignments, approximately 20 senators-elect with ambiguous affiliations neither leaning towards Bhumjaithai nor the opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) have been invited to a social gathering next week. The event will be held at the Five Provinces Bordering Forest Preservation Foundation, a locus steeped in associations with Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, leader of the Palang Pracharath Party. The foundation, nestled within Bangkok’s Phaya Thai district in the 1st Infantry Regiment, serves as a focal point for political tête-à-têtes.

In the meantime, the clamor for the Election Commission (EC) to expedite the verification and announcement of the Senate election results continues to amplify. Political activist Sonthiya Sawatdee added his voice to the growing chorus on Thursday. Thai Sang Thai deputy leader, Chavalit Vichayasut, expressed his conviction that the Senate poll might have contravened constitutional mandates, citing the lack of Senate representation for certain provinces.

The unfolding events promise to keep political enthusiasts on the edge of their seats, as the Senate’s next steps could significantly shape the strategic landscape of Thailand’s administration.


  1. Joe July 5, 2024

    Gen Kriangkrai seems like a military puppet for Bhumjaithai Party. Another example of politics as usual!

    • Kari Anderson July 5, 2024

      That’s a bit harsh, Joe. He has a valid concern for the security issues in southern Thailand. We need someone experienced.

      • grower134 July 5, 2024

        Experience counts, but so does loyalty. Is he acting in the best interests of Thailand, or just his party?

      • Joe July 5, 2024

        Valid point, grower134. If his loyalty is to the party, the south’s security might be treated as a political tool.

  2. Anya July 5, 2024

    What strikes me is the lack of transparency in the Senate elections. Are we even sure this was a fair process?

    • Bobby July 5, 2024

      Fair elections in politics? That’s laughable. This is why we need a stronger watchdog over these processes.

    • Curious42 July 5, 2024

      Transparency is essential, Anya, but we’ve always struggled with it. A thorough investigation is needed.

  3. Larry Davis July 5, 2024

    Just another facade of democracy while power is kept within the same circles. Look at the background connections!

    • Politico_pundit July 5, 2024

      Agreed, Larry. The networks from the National Defence College seem to only serve their own interests.

    • TigerLily July 5, 2024

      Connections get things done, but at what cost to wider democratic representation?

    • Larry Davis July 5, 2024

      Exactly, TigerLily. It might help them function, but the people end up with the short end of the stick.

  4. Sam July 5, 2024

    Why is the Senate election results verification taking so long? This delay is unacceptable and breeds mistrust.

  5. Jenny July 5, 2024

    Anutin Charnvirakul’s influence is too dominating. How can anyone trust this to be impartial?

  6. Wanderer_199 July 5, 2024

    Can someone explain why southern provinces are always the focus? Are there no other regions with security problems?

  7. David K. July 5, 2024

    The southern provinces have unique challenges, Wanderer_199, often linked to insurgencies and ethnic conflicts.

  8. Sunil July 5, 2024

    Who cares about these politicians? As long as my province gets represented fairly, I’m happy.

  9. Peter Chiang July 5, 2024

    This is why the clamor for the EC to expedite results verification is justified. Trust in the system must be restored.

  10. Kelly J. July 5, 2024

    Love him or hate him, Gen Kriangkrai taking the lead could mean real action in the South. At least he has the credentials.

    • Chris July 5, 2024

      Credentials alone aren’t enough, Kelly. What’s on his agenda and who does he really serve?

    • Kelly J. July 5, 2024

      True, Chris. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what actions he takes before judging fully.

  11. Maya July 5, 2024

    Mongkol Surasajja also seems like a strong contender, but is he just another version of Kriangkrai?

  12. Gabriel July 5, 2024

    The provinces’ representation issue brought up by Chavalit Vichayasut is crucial. It raises serious constitutional questions.

    • Reina July 5, 2024

      Absolutely, Gabriel. It’s about time we addressed the inequality in provincial representation.

  13. Priya July 5, 2024

    Honestly, these internal politics are confusing. When will they finally do something for the common people?

  14. Intellectual27 July 5, 2024

    Gen Kriangkrai’s potential speaks volumes about militarization in politics. Thailand’s democracy is in a precarious state.

    • John D. July 5, 2024

      Precarious state? We’ve been in this state for years! Nothing new.

    • Intellectual27 July 5, 2024

      True, John. But the extended militarization poses new risks to civil liberties.

  15. Ralph July 5, 2024

    Hey, I’m just happy someone is finally focusing on southern Thailand. This region has been neglected for too long.

  16. Dana July 5, 2024

    Political tête-à-têtes at the Five Provinces Bordering Forest Preservation Foundation? How clandestine can they get!

    • NYC_skeptic July 5, 2024

      Right? Sounds more like a secret society than a democratic process.

    • Dana July 5, 2024

      Exactly, NYC_skeptic. It’s shady, and it undermines public trust.

  17. Oliver July 5, 2024

    Whether it’s Kriangkrai or Mongkol, will either actually be able to act independently of their party influences?

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