Prayut dismisses talk of reshuffle after censure bid

Prayut dismisses talk of reshuffle after censure bid

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has brushed aside speculation that a cabinet reshuffle may take place after the upcoming no-confidence debate.

"I'm the one who will make a decision. There is no need to talk about this," he said yesterday when asked by reporters about the matter.

Speculation has been rife that a cabinet shake-up may be on the cards after the censure debate as Deputy Education Minister Kanokwan Vilawan faces legal action over forest encroachment.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission concluded on June 7 that there were sufficient grounds for legal action against Ms Kanokwan, her father Soonthorn and eight other individuals for allegedly occupying 150 rai in Prachin Buri's Khao Yai National Park illegally.

Ms Kanokwan is also a deputy secretary-general of the Bhumjaithai Party, while her father is head of the Prachin Buri Provincial Administrative Organisation.

Asked whether a five-day debate demanded by the opposition would be too long, Gen Prayut said the government and opposition whips will decide on the matter. He said he wanted to focus on solving the country's problems.

In its motion filed with House Speaker Chuan Leekpai last week, the opposition named Gen Prayut and 10 other ministers as censure debate targets.

It will be the last such debate the opposition can initiate before the government's tenure expires next March.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, one of those targeted, accused the opposition of submitting the no-confidence motion without the consent of MPs and declared the motion illegal. He said his name had been added at the last minute without the knowledge of opposition MPs who supported the motion.

Sukit Atthopakorn, an adviser to Mr Chuan, said 186 MPs supported the motion in line with the constitution.

Regarding Mr Suchart's complaint, the MPs confirmed they were willing to sign the motion, prompting the House Speaker to put it on parliament's agenda, Mr Sukit said.

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