Thailand

Cabinet reshuffle by early April, says PM

Cabinet reshuffle by early April, says PM

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha arrives at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi on Sunday as Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul became the first person in the country to get a shot of vaccine against the novel coronavirus (File photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha arrives at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi on Sunday as Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul became the first person in the country to get a shot of vaccine against the novel coronavirus (File photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says a cabinet will be reshuffled as soon as possible, probably by late March or early April.

The prime minister said he had yet to decide whether it would be a reshuffle or only vacant seats would be filled.

He added he had yet to be informed by coalition parties about their proposals.

Gen Prayut shrugged off a move by small parties to bargain for cabinet seats, saying they needed to hold talks amoong themselves. 

He said the country’s economy has gradually improved after measures have been rolled out to boost the economy. During a recent long holiday, hotels reported high bookings, said the prime minister.

The cabinet shakeup was inevitable after three ministers lost their qualifications last week.

Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Nataphol Teepsuwan and Thaworn Senneam could not longer remain as Digital Economy and Society Minister, Education Minister and Deputy Transport Minister, respectively as they were among the 26 people convicted by the Criminal Court over their roles in the People's Democratic Reform Committee protests which culminated in the May 2014 coup.

Nataphol and Mr Buddhipongse are members of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), while Mr Thaworn is from the Democrat Party.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Culture Minister Itthipol Kunplome said the prime minister had not raised the issue of a cabinet shakeup during the weekly meeting. However, the reshuffle may be made not more than one month, as each vacant cabinet needed to be filled.

During the meeting, the prime minister asked all ministers to focus on their work and need not worry about anything, said Mr Itthipol, also deputy leader of the PPRP.

Also at the meeting of PPRP executives on Tuesday, there were no talks about the nomination of people to fill the two slots, said Mr Itthipol. 

However, he gave his assurances that the two posts would be filled by "party insiders" but declined to confirm whether they are MPs.

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