Uttama, 3 others resign from cabinet

Uttama, 3 others resign from cabinet

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, Higher Education, Science and Innovations Minister Suvit Maesincee, and deputy secretary-general of the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Pootrakul announce their resignation from the cabinet, effective on Thursday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, Higher Education, Science and Innovations Minister Suvit Maesincee, and deputy secretary-general of the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Pootrakul announce their resignation from the cabinet, effective on Thursday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana and three other members of the so-called "Four Boys" group announced their resignation from the cabinet on Thursday, effective immediately.

The four men resigned from the Palang Pracharat Party last Thursday, not long after Mr Uttama was replaced as leader by Prawit Wongsuwon. 

Mr Uttama, Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, Higher Education, Science and Innovations Minister Suvit Maesincee, and Kobsak Pootrakool, deputy secretary-general of the Prime Minister’s Office submitted their resignations, and later paid respect to sacred objects, at Government House. 

Mr Uttama said their resignations were effective immediately. He thanked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for giving them his trust and an opportunity to serve the country.

The four comprised the so-called group of “Four Boys,” the cabinet quartet of economic technocrats overseen by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak,

Mr Uttama said his team was willing to cooperate with the government in ways that were beneficial for the country and society.

He said Mr Somkid, who resigned from cabinet on Wednesday, wanted a rest, and so did his team 

“We are leaving things on a very good note. We have to help the country get through this situation. In the future, we will be ready to do anything that is useful for the country. Mr Somkid’s resignation is due to his health. In fact, we also are taking this opportunity for a rest," Mr Uttama said.

Mr Sontirat said he had no political plans in mind, he just wanted to take a break.

His team was willing to continue working for the country, but they wanted out of their political roles for the time being. They did not to see anything in politics at this time posing an obstacle preventing the country moving ahead.

All four departing cabinet members insisted they were not under any pressure to depart. They left the cabinet with feelings of good will.

Their resignations were recieved by PM's secretary-general Disthat Hotrakit. The prime minister was in Si Sa Ket province.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he was sorry they resigned, but he had to accept it. 

Gen Prayut said he learned of their resignations on Wednesday. He felt no grudge against them and still respected them. 

“We have worked together for five years. What is important today is that we have achievements, such as laying the fundamentals of the digital economy and the Eastern Economic Corridor. 

"They all gave me their cooperation. As there was a political change, they decided to leave. I can say that I'm sorry they are leaving,’’ the prime minister said. 

Gen Prayut said the cabinet must now be reshuffled to prevent a vacuum, and it must be done as soon as possible. However he was not under pressure to do it. 

The new cabinet line-up should be known no later than next month, he said.


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