Yingluck 'slighted' by rumours of reserve PM
AUCKLAND: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has admitted she is resentful of news reports that she might be replaced by a "reserve" - widely tipped to be her elder sister Yaowapa Wongsawat.
- Published: 23/03/2013 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Ms Yingluck, however, said she would not be discouraged.
The premier spoke to the Bangkok Post while on an official visit to New Zealand to strengthen trade and investment ties between the two countries.
"There were reports that some people wanted to change the prime minister, and that a reserve premier has been prepared. I feel slighted. Please let me continue to work," she said.
"There are still many things I want to do, including finding money for the country. I have been working hard, but it seems someone still wants a new prime minister.
"I am not discouraged, but will use it as an energiser to work harder because a large number of people voted for me. Many people still love me.
"I am still the prime minister, elected under a democratic system and therefore I must perform my duty for the Thai people as long as possible."
It would not be easy to change a prime minister who was supported by the majority of voters, Ms Yingluck added.
The prime minister admitted that she was not a good speaker but urged people to judge her by her performance. Many people with better oratorial skills may not work as hard, she said.
In an opinion survey by Bangkok Poll on the issue of the replacement prime minister, most participants did not believe Ms Yaowapa would become prime minister if there were to be a political "accident" and Ms Yingluck could not perform the duty.
The Research Centre at the Bangkok University, or Bangkok Poll, surveyed 1,123 people aged 18 or older in Bangkok and nearby provinces between March 19 and March 21.
Asked whether they believed Ms Yaowapa would likely become premier, about 56% of the respondents did not think so while just under 44% said yes.
The poll also found many people wanted some changes made to the cabinet line-up, especially the government's economic team.
Asked which cabinet members they feel should be replaced if there were a reshuffle, 41% said economic ministers, 13.1% education affairs ministers, 12.8% security ministers, 6.8% said the social affairs minister and 5.8% said transport-related ministers.
Meanwhile, National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Patanatabut predicted yesterday that the political situation will heat up in late March and early April.
Lt Gen Paradorn said he expects protests next week against the government's attempt to pass the bill to allow it to borrow 2 trillion baht to invest in the country's infrastructure .
Demonstrations are also likely when Thailand and Cambodia attend International Court of Justice oral hearings on the Preah Vihear temple dispute on April 15-18.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam
- Position: Reporter