11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Thursday that the cabinet reshuffle must be done as quickly as possible as the vacant posts need to be filled so that work can continue uninterrupted.

When asked whether the cabinet shakeup would be limited to just the three empty seats or whether there would be a broader reshuffle, he said that he was thinking about that as well.

Three cabinet seats are vacant after Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan, Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta and Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam were automatically stripped of their posts, in accordance with provisions of the Constitution, after they were convicted and sentenced to prison terms by the Criminal Court for their roles in the mass protests by the PDRC, held to oust the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014-15.

Since the three ousted ministers are members of the Palang Pracharat and Democrat parties, the prime minister said the parties must decide on the replacements and then submit their nominees to him for finalization.

Asked whether there will be any change to the ministerial quota among the coalition parties, the prime minister said that this issue has not been discussed.

Meanwhile, it is reported that about 80 Palang Pracharat MPs have signed a letter, addressed to the prime minister, demanding that the party leader, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, have full authority to choose the replacements for the educational and DES portfolios.

The move was intended to pre-empt a reported attempt by the prime minister to appoint outsiders.