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In a story that is sure to be denied, two Bangkok Post reporters write that not all the top choices accepted the conditions attached to becoming ministers. Post Today photo. 

His Majesty the King grants an audience to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she leads members of her cabinet to the swearing-in ceremony at the Princess Galyani Vadhana auditorium on the 14th floor of the Chalermphrakiat Building, Siriraj Hospital. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLD BUREAU

This is not the kind of story that the new government will like and we can expect some strong denials in the coming days. Notice, too, that there is some speculation in the story. Watch for verb forms such as "may have" and "might have".

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Top choices spurn Thaksin

Nattaya Chetchotiros and Aekarach Sattaburuth

A number of surprise appointments in Yingluck Shinawatra's debut cabinet indicate that deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was unable to convince viable candidates to accept his political terms and conditions.

The biggest surprise is at the Foreign Ministry where Pheu Thai MP Surapong Towijakchaikul has edged out former and current career diplomats.

Mr Surapong himself has admitted that he was not interested in foreign affairs in the first place.

Mr Surapong's appointment has underscored speculation by political observers that Thaksin has an agenda even as he strives to form a cabinet with people who have a good image.

Other seasoned individuals declined to take on important ministry portfolios, forcing Thaksin to turn to others who would agree to his agenda and conditions, sources said.

Among those who bailed out is Vichit Surapongchai, executive chairman of Siam Commercial Bank, because he reportedly was told he would not have free rein to choose his deputy.

Also, several SCB board members reportedly objected to Mr Vichit joining the Yingluck cabinet.

"That's why the cabinet list kept changing," said Somjai Phagaphasvivat, a Thammasat University political scientist.

"Eventually he went for those who will do what he wants them to."

Mr Somjai said the appointees had been even assigned a "mission" to fulfil Thaksin's demands.

The deposed prime minister may have drawn up a set of measures to determine if they were up to the task, he said.

"He might have set KPIs [key performance indicators] for the cabinet. That's probably why his sister laid down a six-month time frame for evaluation. It will be used to stimulate them to get to work," he said.

According to Mr Somjai, one of the top missions is likely to bring Thaksin back to Thailand without having to face punishment.

The burdens will fall on the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry which is overseen by former police chief Gen Pracha Promnok.

Mr Somjai said it was possible that an amnesty would be issued to allow Thaksin to return home free of guilt.

The proposed amnesty would cover other groups of people to water down criticism and it would be put up for a referendum to seek justification.

A close look at the Yingluck cabinet reveals that political connections, not qualifications, helped a number of appointees land vitally important jobs. Several have been appointed based on their allegiance to the Shinawatra clan.

The double appointment of Yongyuth Wichaidit as deputy prime minister and interior minister speaks volumes of how his services are appreciated.

He has gone through a lot as Pheu Thai leader. He was seen as a nominal leader without real power and suffering disrespect and criticism from party members. Mr Yongyuth resigned as Pheu Thai's leader only to be reinstated later – reportedly because no one wanted the job and Thaksin asked him to take the job again.

Deputy prime minister and commerce minister Kittirat Na-Ranong served as president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand during the Thai Rak Thai government.

He guaranteed the sale of shares from Ample Rich to Thaksin's son and daughter, Panthongtae and Pinthongtha was legitimate.

But when it was revealed the shares were actually sold outside the market he said that both of them had "ticked the wrong box" in their filing and the mistake was corrected.

grant an audience – (of a king or queen) to allow a meeting to be held with the ruler พระราชทานพระราชวโรกาสให้พสกนิกร หรือข้าราชการเข้าเฝ้าทูลละอองธุลีพระบาม
cabinet – the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy คณะรัฐมนตรี
swearing-in ceremony – an official ceremony in which someone beginning an important job formally promises to do their duty พิธีสาบานตนเข้ารับตำแหน่ง
spurn
– to refuse to accept something, do something, or deal with something; to refuse to accept someone’s love or friendship  ปฏิเสธ
denial
– a statement that something is not true or did not happen คำแถลงการณ์ปฏิเสธ
speculation – ideas or discussion about what might happen or has happened or why something has happened without having complete information การคาดการณ์
spurn – to refuse to accept something, do something, or deal with something; to refuse to accept someone’s love or friendship  ปฏิเสธ
appointment – when someone is officially chosen for a job การแต่งตั้ง
debut – being introduced to the public for the first time เปิดตัว
indicate – to express an intention, opinion, or wish in an indirect way ชี้ทาง, บอกทาง, ชี้ให้เห็น
deposed – forced from a position of power ที่ถูกปลด ไล่ออกจากตำแหน่ง
convince – to make somebody/yourself believe that something is true; to persuade somebody to do something ทำให้เชื่อ, ทำให้แน่ใจ, ชักจูง
viable – able to work as intended or able to succeed ซึ่งใช้การได้ (แผนการ, คำแนะนำ) ซึ่งประสบผลสำเร็จได้
candidate – one of the people being considered for a job ตัวแทนที่ส่งเข้ารับตำแหน่ง
terms – conditions; requirements  ข้อกำหนด
conditions – things that must be true or must be done before another thing can happen เงื่อนไข
edge out – to beat someone in an election or a competition by a small amount เฉือนชนะ ชนะอย่างหวุดหวิด
former – of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past อดีต, แต่ก่อน
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
career – a job or series of related jobs that you do, especially a profession that you spend a lot of your working life in  อาชีพ
diplomat – an official whose job is to represent their government in a foreign country (a career diplomat is a person who does this as a full-time job, not just a temporary assignment) นักการทูต
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it  ยอมรับ
underscore – to emphasise something or to show that it is important  เน้นย้ำ
observer – a person who watches and analyses a situation ผู้สังเกตการณ์
agenda – a set of goals เบื้องลึก    
strive – to try very hard to do something or to make something happen, especially for a long time or against difficulties พยายามอย่างหนัก
image – an opinion that people have about someone or something ภาพลักษณ์
seasoned - having a lot of experience of doing something and therefore knowing how to do it well มีประสบการณ์
individual – a person considered separately rather than as part of a group บุคคล
decline – to say politely that you will not accept something or do something ปฏิเสธ
portfolio – control over a ministry; all the responsibilities of a government minister ตำแหน่งรัฐมนตรี
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
bail out – to escape from a situation that you no longer want to be involved in; to jump out of a plane that is going to crash หนี, กระโดดร่มหนี
reportedly – as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) ตามที่รายงาน
free rein – complete freedom of action อิสระ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
object – to disagree with คัดค้าน
eventually – at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
assign – to give a person a particular task or position มอบหมาย, สั่งงาน
mission – an important piece of work that a person or a group of people has been given to do ภาระกิจ หน้าที่
fulfil – to do or have what is required or necessary บำเพ็ญ
demand – a very firm request for something ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง
up to the task – able to successfully do a job สามารถที่จะประสบความสำเร็จ
key – most important  ที่สำคัญ
performance – the standard to which someone does something การกระทำ, การแสดง, การทำให้บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
indicator – something that shows what a situation is like เครื่องชี้บอก, เครื่องชี้นำ
time frame – a period of time when something happens or must happen เงื่อนเวลา
evaluation – the process of thinking carefully about something before making a judgment about its value, importance, or quality การประเมินผล
stimulate – to make something develop or become more active; to encourage something  กระตุ้น, ส่งเสริม
burden – a serious or difficult responsibility that you have to deal with  ภาระ
oversee – to watch or organise a job or an activity to make certain that it is being done correctly คุมงาน,ควบคุม
amnesty – a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime การนิรโทษกรรม
issue – to officially give out  ออก
guilt – the fact of having done something wrong or committed a crime ความผิด
proposed – suggested as an idea for a group to consider ถูกเสนอ
water down – to cause something to be less strong ทำให้อ่อนแอลง
criticism – comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad การวิจารณ์
referendum – an occasion when all the people of a country can vote on an important issue การลงประชามติ
justification – a good reason or explanation for something การให้เหตุผล, การอ้างเหตุผล
reveal – to show or let something become known เปิดเผย
connections – people or organisations that you know and that can help or advise you in your social or professional life วงศ์วานวงศ์ญาติมิตร
qualifications – the abilities, qualities, degrees, etc. that you need for a particular job or activity คุณสมบัติ, คุณวุฒิ
vital – extremely important; necessary for the success or continued existence of something จำเป็นสำหรับชีวิต; สำคัญมาก
allegiance – strong loyalty to a person, group, idea or country ความจงรักภักดี
clan – a very large family a group of families who are related to each other ตระกูล
speak volumes – to tell you a lot about something/somebody, without the need for words
appreciated – recognised for having good or special qualities ประทับใจ, ซาบซึ้ง
nominal – in name or thought but not reality แต่ในนาม
criticism – comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad การวิจารณ์
reinstate – to give back a job or position that had been taken away from somebody  ให้กลับมารับตำแหน่งเดิม
Stock Exchange of Thailand – the main institution in Thailand where shares in companies are bought and sold ตลาดหลักทรัพย์แห่งประเทศไทย
guarantee – to promise or confirm that something is correct รับรอง, รับประกัน
share – any of the units of equal value into which a company is divided and sold to raise money. People who own shares receive part of the company's profits หุ้น
legitimate – allowed by the law, or correct according to the law ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย
tick – to put a mark (✓) next to an item on a list, an answer, etc   ทำเครื่องหมาย
filing – formally giving a document to someone for their consideration การยื่นเอกสาร

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