Suspension won't affect Apec summit, says Don
Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha's suspension as prime minister won't affect the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, due to take place in Thailand in November, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said on Wednesday.
Neither would it affect international confidence in Thailand, he said, responding to questions about Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon taking over temporarily while Gen Prayut remains suspended.
Gen Prawit, the most senior deputy prime minister, began acting on behalf of the suspended prime minister on Wednesday, Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Minister Anek Laothamatas said. So far, plans for the 2022 Apec summit in November have not been affected by Gen Prayut's suspension, said Mr Don.
Gen Prawit always receives a warm welcome in other countries whenever he attends international events on behalf of Gen Prayut or when he attended overseas duties in the past as defence minister, said Mr Don. As long as it is clearly known before November whether Gen Prayut will resume his duties or someone else will replace him at the summit, there shouldn't be a problem, he said.
Mr Anek also believed the suspension wouldn't interrupt the cabinet's work as it is only a temporary measure adopted while Gen Prayut waits for the Constitutional Court's ruling on whether he has exceeded his time in office.
"The cabinet has a detailed plan in place on how to continue functioning," he said. Mr Don said the plan was explained at Tuesday's cabinet meeting where ministers discussed who would do what in the event of a suspension. That's why the suspension came as no surprise, he added.