Had it not been for the political ban which has prevented former prime minister Banharn Silpa-archa and former executives of the Chartthaipattana Party from holding public office, he would face no difficulty in deciding who will succeed his late brother Chumpol Silpa-archa as Minister of Tourism and Sports.
All political observers know Mr Banharn is choosy when it comes to making appointments.
He never trusts anyone more than his own blood relatives or people who have clearly proved their loyalty throughout the years.
When Chumpol died on Monday aged 72, Mr Banharn might have liked to appoint other family members to the job occupied by his brother - but finds his options limited by the political ban.
His son Varawuth and his daughter Kanjana have both previously occupied ministerial posts. But like him, they are serving a five-year ban imposed by the Constitution Court.
The court ruled in 2008 that the party's executive committee members were engaged in vote-buying, and ordered the dissolution of the Chart Thai Party. The ban expires at the end of this year.
The politicians who have won Mr Banharn's trust include former executive committee members Nikorn Chamnong, Somsak Prisnanantakul and Weerasak Kowsurat.
But since all of them are also serving a ban, Mr Banharn had no choice but to pick retired government officials to take the ministerial positions under his party's quota.
That's why former director-general of the Irrigation Department Theera Wongsamuth was chosen to be minister for agriculture and co-operatives under the Yingluck 1 government.
He was later succeeded by former permanent secretary for agriculture Yukol Limlaemthong under the Yingluck 2 cabinet.
Since Mr Chumpol also doubled as deputy prime minister, Agriculture Minister Yukol has been asked to fill in.
For the minister of tourism and sports position, Mr Banharn has set his sights on one of his trusted men, Somsak Pureesrisak, a former governor of Suphan Buri province who recently retired from public service. It's clear Mr Somsak has won Mr Banharn's trust. Otherwise, he would not have received support to be governor of Mr Banharn's main political stronghold. Mr Somsak was also tipped to become a board chairman of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
But with the position of tourism minister becoming vacant, Mr Somsak is the most likely choice to replace the late Chumpol.
Some of Mr Banharn's close aides revealed Mr Banharn was also considering Sombat Kurubhand, a former permanent secretary for tourism and sports, as another candidate.
Mr Sombat also served as Chumpol's assistant.
But as chairman of several sports associations, he is seen as strong in sports but weak in tourism, so it is likely Mr Banharn will bypass him this time.
Mr Banharn's tendency to put loyalty over public benefits in choosing people has prompted criticism from officials in the tourism ministry.
They believe anyone asked to lead dynamic sectors such as tourism and sports should be young and energetic, in the same mould as Chart Thai's Weerasak who was minister for tourism and sports under the Samak Sundaravej and and Somchai Wongsawat governments. But as a Chart Thai executive committee member, he is also serving a five-year ban, although he was appointed as TAT chairman under the Abhisit government in 2009.
Mr Weerasak played an important role in pushing for new initiatives in the tourism business with a special focus on quality and values.
He also won praise for his handling of problems faced by the tourism industry during political crises such as when Suvarnabhumi airport was blockaded by the yellow shirts in 2008.
"Mr Banharn pays close attention to budget allocations as well as the appointment of personnel in the ministry," Chart Thai Pattana sources said.
"That's why he must choose the people he can control," they said, adding no one else but Mr Banharn has a say over political appointments.
Another capable person who could fill a ministerial position is Pongpol Adireksarn, who oversaw the TAT in 1995.
His style is to work closely with the team, which has also won him high praise. But he is unlikely to be picked to replace Chumpol.
"I am now 72, and I have just returned to Chartthaipattana," Mr Pongpol said. "I don't think I should do work that belongs to a younger person."
Mr Pongpol recently left the Bhumjaithai Party to return to Chartthaipattana where Gen Pramarn Adireksarn, his father, was once party leader.
He said he had told Mr Banharn that he made no demands in return for returning to Chartthaipattana and he would support every decision of Mr Banharn.
The uncertainty over cabinet posts is not only confined to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports under Chartthaipattana's quota.
The Pheu Thai Party is also waiting anxiously for a Constitution Court ruling on Feb 1 which will determine whether Prime Minister's Office Minister Varathep Rattanakorn is qualified to hold a seat in the cabinet.
The Senate Speaker has requested a ruling following a petition by 24 senators who expressed doubts over Mr Varathep's qualifications.
Mr Varathep was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for two years, by the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions in 2010.
He was found guilty of malfeasance over the introduction of the two- and three-digit lottery while serving as deputy finance minister in the Thaksin Shinawatra administration.
Some argue the sentence has expired, so he is entitled to fill the post. Others disagree, which has prompted the petition seeking legal clarification.
If the ruling does not come out in Mr Varathep's favour, the prime minister must find a new person to replace him, which might also prompt another cabinet reshuffle.
Some reports also say the search for Chumpol's replacement could itself set off a reshuffle.
Nattaya Chetchotiros is Assistant News Editor, Bangkok Post.
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- Writer: Nattaya Chetchotiros