General Drops Out of Politics After Junta Backlash

In an image published by the military, Gen. Yosanant Raicharoen (seated) posed for a photo Dec. 19, 2017, with military officers under his command at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.

BANGKOK — A former deputy commander of the Thai armed forces has resigned from a party running in the March 24 election, a party official said Tuesday.

Gen. Yosanant Raicharoen cited “personal reasons” for tendering his resignation, according to Thai Raksa Chart spokesman Pongkasem Satayaprasert. He would not elaborate on the explanation.

Having served as deputy supreme commander of the Thai Armed Forces until his retirement in October, Gen. Yosanant made waves when he joined Thai Raksa Chart, a party widely recognized as a proxy for former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. He was the most senior military officer to side with Thaksin’s faction.

But he drew backlash from deputy junta chairman Prawit Wongsuwan on Nov. 21 after Yosanant publicly criticized the military government.

“Very inappropriate. Very inappropriate,” Prawit told reporters at the time. “I’m very disappointed.”

Yosanant was not seen in public for weeks following Prawit’s outburst. He resurfaced Monday at a ceremony marking 71st anniversary of military unit. He did not speak to reporters there.

According to the party spokesman, Yosanant resigned “late last year.”