Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-o-cha, said today that he has the list of potential new ministers, for the Cabinet reshuffle, and it is now being vetted by officials, to make sure that the qualifications of those on the list meet the legal requirements.
He insisted that he personally made the decisions about the new ministers, adding that the choices were not based on a party quota system.
“I wish to thank the Palang Pracharat party. Everyone has the right to talk, but the person who made the decisions is me,” said the Prime Minister, adding that he would explain to party members, hoping that, in the end, they would agree with him.
After the vetting process, the list of potential new ministers will be forwarded to His Majesty the King for approval, after which they will take an oath of allegiance before they start work.
The reshuffle has been triggered by the resignations of six, now former, ministers.
They include Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations Minister Suwit Mesinsee, PM’s Office Minister Tewan Liptapallop and Labour Minister M.R. Chatumongol Sonakul.
The problematic area in the reshuffle appears to be the energy portfolio. Mr. Paiboon Nititawan, a core member of the ruling Palang Pracharat party, said yesterday that the party wants the energy portfolio to be given to Mr. Suriya Juangroongruangkit, the incumbent industry minister.
The Prime Minister, however, is said to favour Mr. Pairin Chuchotethavorn, former deputy transport minister and former CEO of PTT.