PM confirms Democrat cabinet deal

PM confirms Democrat cabinet deal

The Democrats have received confirmation from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that they will get the eight cabinet posts they asked for, the party's deputy leader Nipon Boonyamanee said on Wednesday.

Mr Nipon made the remarks after Gen Prayut revealed he has begun talks with coalition partners over the allocation of cabinet posts.

Gen Prayut said the new government will be formed soon, adding that while he has the authority to decide who will be included in the cabinet line-up, he also has to consult with the coalition parties.

"I cannot make unilateral decisions like in the past. I cannot afford to turn a deaf ear to them [coalition parties]. If we fail to cooperate, we cannot proceed," Gen Prayut said, adding that cabinet ministers will be drawn mostly from elected MPs.

However, Gen Prayut kept silent about whether he will concurrently serve as defence minister as reported by the media.

Mr Nipon said Gen Prayut called him on Tuesday, after Gen Prayut was appointed prime minister by His Majesty the King, to confirm the Democrats will be allocated eight cabinet posts which were earlier agreed upon with the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).

A Democrat source earlier said the PPRP had agreed to hand a deputy prime minister post and three cabinet portfolios -- Agriculture, Commerce and Social Development and Human Security -- to the party.

The Democrats will also get four deputy minister posts for the Education, Public Health, Interior and Transport ministries.

Mr Nipon, a member of the party's working team coordinating with the PPRP, said the next step will be for the party's MPs and executives to decide who will take the ministerial posts. Commenting on speculation he was tipped to be deputy interior minister, Mr Nipon said that would have to be approved by party's MPs and executives first.

However, he confirmed that Democrat leader Jurin Laksanavisit will become deputy prime minister and commerce minister.

Other Democrats tipped to take ministerial posts include secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on who will likely take the helm at the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry; Juti Krairiksh who is expected to be in charge of the Social Development and Human Security Ministry, and Thaworn Senneam who is tipped to take the deputy transport portfolio.

A source at the Bhumjaithai Party said on Wednesday the party has decided on its list of people suited to take ministerial posts, and will send the list to Gen Prayut this week.

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