Prayut Chan-o-cha is a Thai politician and a retired Royal Thai Army general officer, serving as Prime Minister of Thailand since 2014 and Minister of Defence since 2019. Prayut served as chief of the Thai army from 2010 to 2014 and was the leader of a coup d'etat which installed the National Council for Peace and Order , the military junta which governed Thailand between 22 May 2014 and 10 July 2019.
After his appointment as army chief in 2010, Prayut was characterised as a royalist and an opponent of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Considered a hardliner within the military, he was one of the leading proponents of military crackdowns on the Red Shirt demonstrations of April 2009 and April–May 2010. He later sought to moderate his profile, talking to relatives of protesters who were killed in the bloody conflict, and co-operating with the government of Yingluck Shinawatra who won parliamentary elections in July 2011.
During the political crisis that began in November 2013 and involved protests against the caretaker government of Yingluck, Prayut claimed that the army was neutral and would not launch a coup. However, in May 2014, Prayut staged a military coup against the government and assumed control of the country as dictator and NCPO leader. He later issued an interim constitution granting himself sweeping powers and giving himself amnesty for staging the coup. In August 2014, an unelected military-dominated national legislature appointed him as Prime Minister.After seizing power, Prayut's government oversaw a significant crackdown on dissent. He formulated “twelve values” based on traditional Thai values and suggested that these be included in school lessons. Measures were implemented to limit public discussions about democracy and criticism of the government, including increases in Internet and media censorship. Prayut was re-elected as Prime Minister of Thailand following the disputed 2019 Thai general election. Wikipedia