Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will not bow to pressure from House No.111 politicians into making cabinet changes now or in the near future, a highly placed source said Monday.
Yingluck: Will make own decisions
Speculation over a possible reshuffle has surfaced in the wake of Yongyuth Wichaidit's resignation as deputy prime minister and interior minister following a National Anti-Corruption Commission ruling he had committed a serious breach of discipline in connection with the Alpine land case.
There are several reasons why Ms Yingluck will not make changes for many months to come, said the source who is close to the prime minister.
First, the prime minister believes it may not be the right time to make alterations to the cabinet line-up, as any change would require royal endorsement and His Majesty the King is currently recuperating from illness.
Besides, the prime minister does not want to pander to members of the so-called House No.111, or former executives of the defunct Thai Rak Thai Party, who did nothing to help Pheu Thai's election campaign last year. Several House No.111 politicians consider several current cabinet members as "C-grade politicians", unlike themselves or their colleagues who were banned from politics when Thai Rak Thai and the People Power Party were dissolved.
These 111 members are clearly ratcheting up the pressure and underestimate Ms Yingluck, the source said.
Some think themselves as being more capable than the prime minister and many of them think they are more qualified to take on the job, the source said.
"The 111 politicians cannot be brought into the cabinet because they cannot live together [with the prime minister]. Who wants to appoint people who would overshadow them?" the source who is also a member of the cabinet said.
However, a source close to ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra said it would not be fair on House 111 members if Ms Yingluck kept them out of the cabinet.
Many of them are capable and still working for the party, the source said.
These politicians have given full backing to Pheu Thai despite not participating in the past election, he said.
Varathep Rattanakorn said yesterday members of House No.111 have never pressured the premier for cabinet posts.
Phumtham Wechayachai, a House No.111 politician and Pheu Thai director, said the party's strategic committee had agreed that the prime minister had the sole power to decide on any changes.
Weng Tojirakarn, a Pheu Thai Party list-MP and member of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), said that the party should consider Jatuporn Prompan for a cabinet post, ideally to replace Mr Yongyuth, because Mr Jatuporn had worked tirelessly for the party.
PM's Office Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan said yesterday it would up to Ms Yingluck to decide whether to appoint him as acting deputy prime minister and acting interior minister.
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