6 June 2024

Trouble is brewing in the government’s core party, Palang Pracharat, as resentment has re-emerged between two internal factions after latest cabinet shuffle.

A well-informed party source said that Chon Buri MP Suchart Chomklin, who was earlier tipped to be labour minister, and Mr. Anucha Nakasai, a member of the powerful Sam Mitr faction, who was in line for deputy finance minister, have been dropped from the latest cabinet lineup.

The sources noted that Mr. Anucha, one of the party’s MPs representing the central region, has not been instructed by the cabinet secretary-general to complete the obligatory documentation required of would-be ministers, prompting intense speculation that he might be dropped.

Mr. Anucha, however, said today that he didn’t believe he would be dropped, adding that he has faith that Prime Minister Prayut will not break his promise. The MP for Chainat province claimed that, on June 11th, the prime minister promised Palang Pracharat party leader Uttama Savanayana that the Palang Pracharat’s cabinet lineup would not be changed.

“I believe the prime minister is an ex-soldier who keeps his word. He will definitely not break his promise,” said Mr. Anucha.

Mr. Suchart told the media today that he had not yet been approached to complete the paperwork, adding that he might not be in the lineup. However, he said he understood Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s problem in trying to cater to the demands of all the factions within the party, while warning that, in the next election, the party would lose out in the central region because the region’s MPs are underrepresented in cabinet.

The Sam Mitr faction, led by Somsak Thepsuthin and Suriya Juangroongruangkit, has been huddled in closed-door discussions since Thursday. The faction was instrumental in cobbling together the Palang Pracharat party with veteran politicians from several parties, including Pheu Thai.