New lineup sees only two sitting Palang Pracharat MPs and one ex-MP elevated to a ministerial role. It is also coming at a time of raised political tensions and a growing economic crisis meaning there is unlikely to be a honeymoon for the high office holders.
The Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha is believed to have completed his cabinet reshuffle and sent his list of new appointments to the Thai King for approval this Wednesday. Predee Daochai, formerly the President of Kasikorn Bank, will become Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister while now resigned government press secretary, Narumon Pinyosinwat, will become Deputy Minister of Labour.
The Thai Prime Minister has forwarded six appointments via the Cabinet Secretariat to His Majesty the King for approval. This will complete the much speculated on cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of the government’s economic team some weeks ago and a change at the top for one of the micro coalition partners, the ACT party.
If approved, the new lineup will see former Kasikorn Bank President, Predee Daochai, become a Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
Another key development in the shakeup will be the appointment of former government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat as Deputy Labor Minister.
Ms Narumon is reported to be close to Deputy PM and new Palang Pracharat Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan
Ms Narumon is reported to be close to the new Palang Pracharat Party leader, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.
She was elected to the executive board of the party after Deputy PM Prawit assumed the leadership at the end of June.
Ms Narumon was also named Treasurer.
A former lecturer at National Institute of Development Administration and US MBA holder
Before her election to the House of Representatives as a party-list candidate in 2019, Ms Narumon had been a lecturer with the National Institute of Development Administration.
She holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania and a masters degree from Georgia State University having previously been a graduate of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.
On Wednesday, Ms Narumon is reported to have submitted her resignation as government spokesperson as the Prime Minister’s finalised appointments were sent on for approval by the cabinet secretariat.
Chonburi MP to become labour minister
The lineup sees Suchart Chomklin, a deputy leader of Palang Pracharat and MP for Chonburi, appointed labour minister, a position last held by the smaller ACT Party.
In return, Anek Laothamatas, of that party becomes the Minister of Higher Education replacing Suvit Maesincee who was one of the five ministers who resigned.
The newly elected Secretary-General of Palang Pracharat, Anucha Nakasai, a sitting MP from Chainat, is to become a minister at the Office of the Prime Minister.
Former PTT executive to get coveted Energy portfolio
The prime minister has also brought in Supattanapong Punmeechaow, a former executive with PTT to be the new Energy Minister, a position formerly held by Sontirat Sontijirawong and said still to be coveted by current Industry Minister, Suriya Juangroongruangkit.
Clinical attempt to minimise disruption
The cabinet reshuffle represents a clinical attempt by the PM to minimise the political fallout from the resignation of the former economic team led by ex-Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak, first from the Palang Pracharat Party and then from the government in mid-July.
New ministers will have no honeymoon
The new cabinet lineup will not enjoy any sort of honeymoon with a difficult economic situation developing within the country, ongoing student protests and political tensions within the ruling Palang Pracharat Party.
It is also unclear if the new lineup will have satisfied the rising clamour within Palang Pracharat for more MPs to be given more ministerial positions and control over economic policy.
Of the five appointments made by the PM, excluding the ACT appointment, three were members of the Palang Pracharat Party, two being sitting MPs while one, Ms Narumon, is a former MP who resigned her seat after being appointed government spokesperson before her latest elevation.