Cabinet shake-up now in PM's hands

Cabinet shake-up now in PM's hands

Prawit sends party picks to the premier

Deputy PPRP leader Somsak Thepsutin
Deputy PPRP leader Somsak Thepsutin

The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) will leave the final decision on who gets what in the cabinet reshuffle to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, key members said on Wednesday.

The announcement might being to a temporary lull intense jockeying for ministerial seats within the PPRP.

Deputy PPRP leader Somsak Thepsutin said any discussion on party choices for ministers was strictly an internal affair.

The issue has been solved now that the party's executive board and leader, Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, who is also a deputy prime minister, have forwarded the names of party nominees for cabinet posts to the prime minister.

Gen Prayut is free to exercise his discretion to change the party nominations. However, if the premier decides to make such changes, he would likely notify the party leader, Mr Somsak said.

Mr Somsak, also the justice minister, said he had no idea whether Gen Prayut had informed Gen Prawit of any changes.

A source in the ruling party said the PPRP-nominees included Suriya Jungrungreangkit, the industry minister who is being backed by his Sam Mitr faction to become the energy minister in the reshuffle.

Gen Prayut earlier refused to confirm whether Mr Suriya would be shifted to the Energy Ministry. The Sam Mitr group has insisted the energy post be returned from the prime minister's quota to the party's allocation and that Mr Suriya be given the job.

It was also reported that Anucha Nakhasai, the PPRP secretary-general, should be nominated for the industry minister post, replacing Mr Suriya while Suchart Chomklin, a PPRP MP for Chon Buri, should become labour minister.

Meanwhile, Narumon Pinyosinwat, the government spokeswoman, was tipped to become the PM's office minister.

Gen Prayut has maintained he has the final say on selecting people to fill major economic ministerial posts, a reference to the Finance Ministry previously overseen by Uttama Savanayana, also an ex-PPRP leader, and the Industry Ministry, overseen until recently by Sontirat Sontijirawong, the former PPRP secretary-general.

However, the party source said Mr Suriya and Mr Anucha have only a slim chance of grabbing the posts.


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