Democrat party split over sharing of cabinet seats

The Democrat party is split over the sharing of eight cabinet posts allocated to them by the Palang Pracharat party.

The party’s executive committee is scheduled to meet at 2pm this afternoon to discuss who, among the party members, are qualified for the eight posts. Party MPs will join the meeting at 3pm.

The positions offered to the Democrats are:

  • One deputy prime minister
  • Commerce minister
  • An agriculture post
  • Social development and human security minister
  • Four deputy ministerial posts for transport, interior, public health and education

A well-informed party source said that a group of party members, who were closely associated with Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban’s People’s Democratic Reform Committee which spearheaded the protests against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, and candidates contesting the party leadership post want the party’s list of potential ministers to be reviewed.

The source said the former candidates submitted a letter to party leader Jurin Laksanavisit on June 6th proposing a new selection process for the would-be ministers. The selection process must take into account the issue of seniority, fairness, priority for constituency MPs, competency and experience in the administration of the ministries concerned and gender equality.

The source said that the group wanted Mr. Jurin to take up only the deputy prime minister’s post and cede the commerce ministry to Mr. Apirak Kosayothin, former Bangkok governor who has experience in trade and marketing.

The group is also backing Korn Chatikavanich to head the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, citing the fact that the former finance minister has spent the past five years working at the grassroots level to solve problems of poverty and agricultural produce.

Party secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on, who played key role in negotiating with the Palang Pracharat party over cabinet seats, has been tipped to be the agriculture minister.

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