6 June 2024

Acting Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan on Monday dismissed speculation of a possible Cabinet reshuffle.

“I am just a caretaker prime minister. I cannot reshuffle the Cabinet,” said Prawit when asked by reporters to comment on speculation that he might reshuffle the Cabinet.

He said any decision on a Cabinet reshuffle should rest with Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, who has been suspended from performing his prime ministerial duty.

“Wait for the decision (by the Constitutional Court). If he continues in his office, the prime minister will take care of that,” he said during an inspection tour in Krabi province in southern Thailand.

It is seen as the clearest indication from the acting prime minister that a Cabinet reshuffle on his watch is out of the question.

The Constitutional Court is in the process of deliberating an appeal by the opposition bloc to decide on Gen Prayut’s term of office as prime minister.  The opposition believes that Prayut’s term has already expired on August 24, after having served in the post for eight years.

The current constitution sets an eight-year term limit for the prime minister.  The court has suspended Prayut from active duty pending its final verdict.

Prayut’s critics argue that his term of office began when he became prime minister in 2014 following a military coup in May that year.

The resignation of Nipon Boonyamanee as deputy interior minister on Monday has intensified speculation of a limited Cabinet reshuffle.  Nipon’s resignation has left at least four Cabinet posts vacant.