Thailand’s Finance Minister, Pridi Daochai, has quit his post, effective Wednesday, after only 25 days in the office.
His resignation was approved by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and published in the Royal Gazette on Tuesday.
Mr. Pridi reportedly cited poor health as the reason for his departure from the Government, but informed sources claim that it actually stems from a conflict with his deputy, Mr. Santi Prompat, over the latest reshuffle of senior officials in the Finance Ministry.
The Cabinet approved four new appointments in the Finance Ministry on Tuesday.
They include Mr. Chamroen Pothiyod, an inspector-general, who is to become Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr. Patchara Anantasilp, Director-General of Excise Department, who is to become Director-General of the Customs Department, Mr. Lawan Saengsanit, Director of the Fiscal Policy Office, who will become Director-General of the Excise Department, and Mrs. Woranut Phu-im, an advisor attached to the Treasury Department, is set to become an inspector-general.
Rumours had been circulating around Government House about Mr. Daochai’s resignation since the morning, but it could not be confirmed until the announcement in the Royal Gazette in the evening, although it was reported that Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and leader of the Pracharat Party were seen huddled in an intense discussion with Deputy Finance Minister Santi after the Cabinet meeting.
Pheu Thai party’s Deputy Secretary-General Chirayu Huangsap said today that he warned the Government a few days ago about the conflict within the Finance Ministry, and the problems that a newcomer like Mr. Pridi, who is not a career politician, would face working in Government.
He suggested that the Prime Minister take on the finance portfolio, to show that the administration is capable of steering the country through this deepening economic crisis.