PHUKET: Phuket Governor Chokchai Dejamornthan has been transferred out after just six months on the job, with Norraphat Plodthong – previously Provincial Management Adviser at the Office of the Permanent Secretary of Interior – being named as his successor.

As reported on the Phuket Gazette Facebook Page, last night, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday afternoon issued a letter signed by the Prime Minister invoking article 44 to “urgently” transfer 10 high ranking officials nationwide.

Governor Chokchai is one of those transferred and will be working as a “Special Inspector” in the PM’s office.

The letter does not mention the reason for the transfer, which is effective immediately, but Article 44 gives Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha absolute power to give any order deemed necessary to “strengthen public unity and harmony”, or to prevent any act that undermines public peace.

Speaking at a briefing on April 7, 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told diplomats and foreign media that, “Article 44 can be a fast cure for critical problems that cannot be solved quickly.”

Officials from five other provinces, namely Kanjanaburi, Kalasin, Chiang Rai, Ratchaburi and Singburi, have also been transferred.

Gov Chokchai assumed his post in October last year after then-Governor Chamroen, who had completed just one year of his term, was suddenly transferred to Nakhorn Si Tammarat (story here).