‘Big Brothers’ keep their jobs

13-Jun-2019 Intellasia | BangkokPost | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s “two brothers-in-arms” who are core figures of the regime have retained their ministerial posts, sources say.

The Democrats and Bhumjaithai have meanwhile successfully grabbed key economic ministerial seats in the new cabinet, according to the sources.

A list of people speculated to be in the cabinet line-up emerged after Gen Prayut was royally appointed prime minister for a second term on Tuesday.

Embattled Gen Prawit Wongsuwon will remain as a deputy prime minister in the next government, while Gen Prayut will also be defence minister, a post Gen Prawit previously held. Gen Anupong Paojinda will also be defence minister, a post Gen Prawit previously held. Gen Anupong Paojinda will stay on as interior minister, the source said.

Gen Prawit is also the deputy chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) while Gen Anupong is an NCPO member.

The Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties vehemently refused to return key economic ministerial posts to the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).

Both coalition parties said the deal for ministerial posts had been sealed with the PPRP before they agreed to vote for Gen Prayut to reclaim the premiership on June 5.

The Democrats were eventually given control of the Agriculture and Commerce ministries, whereas Bhumjaithai will take the helm of the transport ministry, as earlier agreed with the PPRP, the source added.

Gen Prayut on Tuesday said he would sit down for talks with coalition allies to form a cabinet as swiftly as possible.

Before the royal appointment ceremony, Gen Prayut told reporters that the new cabinet would be formed soon.

“There will be discussions. Suitability will be considered and compromises must be made. The benefits for the country and the people will be the priority,” he said.

Gen Prayut on Tuesday received the royal command appointing him as premier at the Pakdibodin Building in the compound of government House. The ceremony took place about 1.30pm in the presence of members of the 18 coalition parties.

Sorasak Pienvej, secretary-general of the House of Representatives, read out the royal command.

Gen Prayut becomes Thailand’s 29th prime minister under his second four-year term.

After the ceremony, Gen Prayut said he was grateful to His Majesty and would work for the King and people.

“I affirm that I will dedicate myself to public service with honesty and integrity in pursuit of the greater good of the country and the people of Thailand.

“I will listen to the voices of the people while fulfilling my duty to move forward and develop all economic and social aspects of the country,” Gen Prayut said.

He promised to help the poor, develop human resources and promote national unity.

“I will promote a peaceful environment for a unified society based on love, unity and compassion so the Thai people can live with stability and happiness.”

He also thanked his coalition allies for their support.

After the prime minister forms the cabinet, he will lead the ministers in taking an oath at a swearing-in ceremony in the presence of His Majesty the King as stipulated by the constitution.

The current government and the NCPO will then vacate office and Gen Prayut’s Section 44 power as NCPO chief will end.

The new government will have to deliver its policy statement address to parliament within 15 days of the swearing-in ceremony before it can assume official duties.

PPRP leader Uttama Savanayana posted on Facebook that the coalition parties will find the right people to fill the cabinet jobs and the line-up of ministers should be known in a few days.

Uttama was confident the government under Gen Prayut’s leadership will steer the country forward.

Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanavisit said that a joint meeting of Democrat MPs and executives will have the final say on who will be appointed as ministers under the party’s allocation in the new government.



Category: Thailand

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