Prayut, Jurin discuss filling vacant cabinet seat

Prayut, Jurin discuss filling vacant cabinet seat

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha leaves the cabinet meeting at Government House on Wednesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha leaves the cabinet meeting at Government House on Wednesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha indicated on Wednesday he is not opposed to changes to his cabinet, with two coalition parties having vacancies that need to be filled.

Gen Prayut admitted in response to reporters' question that a cabinet reshuffle was raised in talks with Democrat leader Jurin Laksanawisit.

The coalition Democrat Party has one quota seat to fill, after Niphon Bunyamanee resigned last month as the deputy interior minister to fight malfeasance allegations in the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases. The alleged offence dates back to when he was president of the Songkhla provincial administration organisation in 2013.

Gen Prayut did not go into detail on the scope of the possible cabinet change and its timeline.

The Bhumjaithai Party also has a slot to fill. Deputy Education Minister Kanokwan Vilawan was suspended from duty by the Supreme Court in August. She was accused by the National Anti-Corruption Commission of committing a severe ethical violation in a case of land encroachment in Khao Yai National Park in her home province, Prachin Buri.

Mr Jurin,  a deputy prime minister, said before the cabinet meeting that his talks with the prime minister would be limited to the seats controlled by the Democrats. "Whether other parties want to reshuffle their cabinet seats is up to them and the prime minister," he said.

This week's meeting was pushed back to Wednesday to clear the schedule for Gen Prayut to visit flood-prone areas in Ubon Ratchathani and Khon Kaen on Tuesday.

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