By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha reassured today (Oct. 5) a cabinet reshuffle is not going to take place anytime soon though coalition partners may prefer to see it sooner than later.
Prayut apparently dampened speculation that a cabinet reshuffle would likely be imminent now that he has come back to run the country following five weeks of having been suspended by court from performing as head of government.
Prayut told reporters that today’s agenda for a weekly cabinet meeting at Government House did not include a cabinet reshuffle and other political issues.
His comments apparently followed news reports that Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Commerce Minister-cum-Democrat party leader Jurin Laksanavisit has looked to see a cabinet reshuffle to the extent that a partisan person be named in place of Nipon Bunyamanee who has earlier resigned as deputy interior minister under the banners of the third largest coalition party.
In addition, two others have been deposed as members of the Prayut cabinet following last year’s censure/no-confidence motion and are yet expected to be replaced in a cabinet reshuffle.
That referred to former deputy agriculture & cooperatives minister/former Palang Pracharath party secretary-general Thammanat Prompao who has now become top leader of the Thai Economic Party and former deputy labour minister Naruemon Pinyosinwat, both being viewed as personally close to Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan.
It remains to be seen whether Deputy Education Minister Kanokwan Wilawan, currently suspended by court from doing her ministerial chores, will be found guilty over a Khao Yai land grab lawsuit filed against her and consequently be deprived of her ministerial status under the banners of the Bhumjaithai Party, thus prompting the naming of a partisan person as her replacement in the cabinet.
The speculated cabinet reshuffle might not only be designed to fill those vacant ministerial seats with some persons but to kick out certain ministers and replace them with others.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Both photos: Matichon