It's not uncommon for a premier to have a huge office. And Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is no exception. Her office, plus the office of the prime minister's secretary Suranand Vejjajiva at Government House, is colossal.
What makes Ms Yingluck's office atypical from that of her predecessors is that it incorporates a team of military men.
The team, led by Lt Gen Witthaya Boonyanoot from the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), was handpicked by army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha at the request of Prime Minister Yingluck.
Lt Gen Witthaya is the army chief's classmate at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.
It's apparent that Ms Yingluck requires the presence of Isoc's four-member team at her office to better streamline work and cooperation on security issues with the army. This is because the prime minister, who is also Isoc director, does not visit the Isoc headquarters at Suen Ruen, but leaves all administrative affairs to Gen Prayuth, Isoc's deputy director.
For many, the presence of the Isoc team makes the prime minister's office a real "war room" or a forward office of Isoc or the army.
When at Government House, Ms Yingluck occasionally drops by the Isoc team's office. They seem to get along well with the prime minister.
Mr Suranand, de facto commander in chief of Government House, often has the army team examine or counter-check news or intelligence reports.
Despite public impressions that Gen Prayuth maintains certain links with the Democrat Party, or "old power", there is evidence that he and the prime minister have cemented their ties.
Observers note Ms Yingluck seems to put her trust in the army chief. It's known that whenever problems arise, she consults Gen Prayuth directly.
The army chief, meanwhile, always caters to the prime minister's requests. Sending the Isoc team to her office is a prime example. During her Songkran trip to Chiang Mai, the prime minister asked the general to "take charge" of Bangkok in her absence.
Moreover, Gen Prayuth decided at the last minute to cancel his trip to Russia, which he planned to take with Defence Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat this week, as Ms Yingluck wanted him to join a meeting on southern problems yesterday.
Some reports suggest Gen Prayuth, who has been army chief for three years and will retire in September next year, may be kicked upstairs to head the Supreme Command in the next military reshuffle.
Many observers believe, however, Ms Yingluck is unlikely to remove the general as army chief, not just because they are on good terms, but also for the sake of political stability. Removing him from the job may strain ties with the army.
But has Gen Prayuth, who is still close to core "old power" types, really gained the trust of the prime minister and her brother, deposed prime minister Thaksin? Maybe not 100% trust, but enough for Ms Yingluck to choose to keep him close in her power centre.
Wassana Nanuam is a senior news reporter covering military affairs for the Bangkok Post.
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- Writer: Wassana Nanuam