11 July 2024

Palang Pracharat secretary-general Sontirat Sontijirawong said today that he regretted the conflict in the party over cabinet seat allocation and he offered to surrender the energy portfolio to the Sam Mitr group if it will help ease the internal conflict.

The energy portfolio was offered Mr. Sontirat by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after it had been withdrawn from Mr. Suraya Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Sam Mitr group, who was named industry minister in the latest cabinet lineup. Mr. Sontirat’s offer to pass on the energy minister’s post came after a group of Sam Mitr MPs had planned to submit a motion to demand Sontirat’s removal as party secretary-general.

The Sam Mitr group today issued a statement demanding that Mr. Suriya be reinstated as energy minister and Mr. Anucha Nakasai, another key member of the group, be given back his deputy finance minister’s post.

Sontirat told the media today that he was not involved in deciding which Palang Pracharat MPs should be named cabinet ministers, saying that he was ready to accept any cabinet post for which he is suitable.

Asked about the speculation that he has been designated to take the energy portfolio, Sontirat admitted that he was sorry that his latest posting to the Energy Ministry caused any resentment and offered to give up the energy portfolio in the hope that his decision would help solve the party’s internal conflicts.