Former lawyer to Thaksin Shinawatra, Mr Pichit Chuenban, who was tipped as Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office was eventually not appointed with the role going to Pheu Thai’s Puangpet Chunlaiad. The new government sees ministers from six political parties in the cabinet with sixteen of them coming from the ruling Pheu Thai Party.
Thursday was the last day at the office at Government House for General Prayut Chan Ocha when he countersigned the Royal Pardon commuting former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s sentence to one year. On Saturday, the new Prime Minister was meeting sectoral interests as his new 34-member cabinet was endorsed by the King on Friday. The new cabinet is expected to be sworn in over the coming days, possibly on Tuesday, September 5th.
The Royal Gazette has endorsed the new cabinet headed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.
The 34-member cabinet received its seal of approval from King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Friday and this was published on Saturday in the Gazette.
The new government sees Prime Minister Srettha also taking on the role of Finance Minister, given that the overarching priority of the new administration will be to tackle Thailand’s weak and ailing economy.
Ex-Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin is a Deputy Prime Minister in new government without portfolio
The 34 members of the Cabinet include Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr Srettha Thavisin, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister, Mr Phumtham Wechayachai and Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin.
Mr Somsak was previously the Minister of Justice in the outgoing government of General Prayut Chan Ocha up until the beginning of 2023.
The country’s new Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister is Mr Parnpree Bahiddha-Nu-Kara of the Pheu Thai Party.
The cabinet will see former Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, return as Deputy Minister and Interior Minister, a significant role in the new government with oversight of a ministry which manages local government functions in the kingdom.
Brother of former Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, General Pathcharawat Wongsuwan is the new Natural Resources and Environment Minister
One of the four ministers from the Palang Pracharat Party is the brother of former Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, Police General Pathcharawat Wongsuwan, who will become Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in the new government, which is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday next, the 5th of September.
One of the first ministers to be appointed from the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party is Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Mr Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, who together with outgoing Prime Minister General Prayut Chan Ocha established the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party in the run-up to this year’s General Election.
A significant development in the new cabinet lineup which has been endorsed, is that the planned appointment of Mr Pichit Chuenban, a former lawyer of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was controversially involved in an alleged attempt to bribe judges in 2008 which saw him jailed that year for contempt, has not gone ahead. He was to have been appointed as minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Controversial planned appointment of former Thaksin lawyer did not ultimately go ahead after it was referred for review on constitutional grounds
In recent days, the matter was reportedly referred for consideration to the state council.
It was thought that such an appointment could have led to a challenge under the terms of the constitution, specifically Section 160 (7).
Today’s announcement saw Ms Puangpet Chunlaiad of Pheu Thai appointed to the role.
The new Minister of Defence is veteran Pheu Thai politician Mr Sutin Klangsaeng.
The new cabinet also includes Pheu Thai’s Krisada Chinavicharana who becomes Deputy Finance Minister.
Joining him in the same role will be Mr Julapun Amornvivat as Deputy Finance Minister.
Mr Chakkrapong Saengmanee will become Deputy Foreign Minister, while the new Tourism and Sports Minister will be Ms Sudawan Wang-Suphakitkosol, also of the Pheu Thai Party.
Crusading Environment Protector is to become the new Social Development and Human Security Minister
Another former minister in the outgoing government of General Prayut Chan ocha, Mr Varawut Silpa-archa of the Chart Thai Pattana Party, known for his crusading efforts to protect the country’s wildlife environment, will return as a minister in Mr Srettha’s government as Social Development and Human Security Minister.
The new Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation will be Supamas Isara-Bhakdi of the Bhumjaithai Party.
A somewhat controversial figure and an influential MP in the House of Representatives, Captain Thamanat Prompow, who was dismissed by General Prayut in September 2021 as Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, will return in the new government as Senior Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
The key Palang Pracharat Party leader will be joined by two deputy ministers at the ministry, Mr Chaiya Promma of the Pheu Thai Party and Mr Anucha Nakasai of the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party.
Former industry minister is new Transport boss
Former Industry Minister Mr Suriya Jungrungruangkit returns to the new government as Transport Minister.
The Deputy Transport Minister will be Ms Manaporn Charoensri of the Pheu Thai Party, who will be joined in the same role by Mr Surapong Piyachote, also with Pheu Thai.
The new Digital Economy and Society Minister is Pheu Thai’s Prasert Chanthararuangthong.
Mr Napintorn Srisanpang of the Pheu Thai Party has been appointed Deputy Commerce Minister in the new government.
Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul as Minister of the Interior will have three deputies
Joining Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul at the Ministry of Interior will be three deputy interior ministers.
These will be Pheu Thai’s Kriang Kaltinan, the Bhumjaithai Party’s Songsak Thongsri and Mr Chada Thaiset of the same party who made a name for himself on July 12th last for his stinging criticism of the Move Forward Party over its policy to reform Article 112 of the Criminal Code.
The new Minister of Justice is Police Colonel Thawee Sodsong of the Prachachart Party.
It was thought that Police Colonel Thawee would have been in the spotlight concerning the prison term of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra but Friday’s news of the commutation of the former Prime Minister’s sentence to one year and the emergence of a spirit of national reconciliation means that this is now less likely.
Former Tourism minister moves to Labour
The new Labour Minister is the former Tourism and Sports Minister Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn of the Bhumjaithai Party while Mr Sermsak Pongpanich of Pheu Thai becomes the country’s new Culture Minister.
Police General Permpoon Chidchob of the Bhumjaithai Party takes on the role of Education Minister in the new government.
He will be joined at the Ministry of Education by Mr Surasak Phancharoenworakul of the same party.
The country’s new Minister of Public Health will be Dr Cholnan Srikaew who this week resigned as leader of the Pheu Thai Party.
Dr Cholnan, a patient negotiator and man of compromise will be tasked with dealing with the ongoing problems associated with last year’s legalisation of cannabis.
This came about through several regulatory orders by the Ministry, signed by his predecessor in the role, Mr Anutin Charnvirakul.
Mr Santi Prompat, formerly Deputy Finance Minister, will be Dr Cholnan’s deputy at the Ministry of Public Health as Deputy Public Health Minister.
The kingdom’s new Industry Minister is Ms Pimpatra Wichaikul of the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party.
On Saturday, Srettha voiced support for the Shinawatra family and reassurance to former premier Thaksin Shinawatra as a new era dawns
On Saturday afternoon, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin met with representatives of motorcycle taxi drivers in Bangkok as part of a process that the incoming Prime Minister has been engaged in for the last week.
The new PM is reaching out to people at all levels and sectors within the economy to get their feedback on what the new government should be prioritising.
Mr Srettha took the time to comment on yesterday’s Royal Pardon for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and congratulated Mr Thaksin’s family including his youngest daughter who opinion polls consistently showed was the country’s favourite choice as Prime Minister but who was not named as a minister this week.
Mr Srettha said that he hoped yesterday’s news would alleviate the stress that Mr Thaksin has been under since he returned to Thailand and entered the justice system on August 22nd last.
He thought that because of yesterday’s development, the former Prime Minister’s mind should be more at ease.