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Thai premier relinquishing Army post in unity move

Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda said he was giving up his post of Army commander in chief in an apparent move to preserve military unity. But, as prime minister and defense minister he will remain in overall charge of the armed forces. Parliament last year empowered General Prem to remain Army chief for a year beyond the mandatory retirement age on grounds his continued military leadership was neede, but the decision caused rifts within the military, which shares state power with politicians. Army field commanders opposed the move as a violation of established procedures in military prom otions and retirements.

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