Govt 'too busy' to reshuffle cabinet

Govt 'too busy' to reshuffle cabinet

Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit takes a squirt of sanitising gel and has his temperature taken as part of measures at Government House to combat the Covid-19 outbreak. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit takes a squirt of sanitising gel and has his temperature taken as part of measures at Government House to combat the Covid-19 outbreak. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

The government is busy with urgent problems and has no time to think about a cabinet reshuffle, according to ministers and government MPs.

Chaichana Detdecho, a Democrat Party MP for Nakhon Si Thammarat, said it was natural to expect a cabinet shake-up right after a censure debate. However, he said the government is too busy combating the spread of Covid-19 to be considering a reshuffle. Cabinet ministers need to remain where they are to coordinate efforts to combat the virus, which presents a national health emergency.

Now is not the time to move or replace ministers, he said.

Mr Chaichana said the Democrat Party was not planning any changes regarding its seven ministers in cabinet. The MP also warned the opposition not to try and censure the government outside of parliament.

He was referring to an agreement reached by the six opposition parties to organise mobile forums nationwide to scrutinise and pressure the government as a follow-up of the censure debate which ended last week.

The opposition said the government had failed to clarify several issues during the parliamentary grilling and the mobile forums will offer information and insights about them.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday that no one should make any conjectures or try to interpret what he says regarding any changes in the cabinet. "It's my call and I'll decide when the time comes," he said.

Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit also said Gen Prayut has the final say on any reshuffle, adding that he has not heard the premier speak about any changes to the ministerial line-up.

He also dismissed speculation he was trading his energy portfolio for the industry post. He said he was preoccupied with attending to the needs of drought-stricken residents.

Mr Suriya is a founding member of the Sam Mitr faction in the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.

Anusorn Iamsa-ard, spokesman of the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, said talk of a possible cabinet reshuffle has destabilised the government.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, also from Sam Mitr, denied the group was pushing for a new face to serve in the cabinet, which would prompt a reshuffle.


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