Thailand: New Cabinet to be ready by the end of Jun 19: PM

  • Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said on 18 Jun 19 that he would finish putting together his Cabinet by the end of Jun 19 but was yet to make a decision on whether he would take the post of defence minister.
  • A legal team is examining the names proposed by parties in the pro-junta coalition on whether they are qualified to serve in the Cabinet, he said.
  • Prayut’s statement on the new Cabinet came amid a brewing conflict within the PPRP, whose MPs from the Northeast and southern constituencies are demanding their pound of flesh.
  • General Prayut is about to cut off his ties with the military when the ruling junta – the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) – makes way for the new cabinet.
  • Besides taking over the leadership of the PPRP, observers believe Prayut would need to keep the Defence portfolio to secure the military’s support, as his mentor and comrade-in-arms Prawit Wongsuwan might not be able to take the position in the new cabinet due to his poor health.
  • “It would be wrong if I take two positions [PM and Defence]. I’m not worried about that since our military has strong discipline”, he said, declining to answer questions on whether Prawit would stay in the new cabinet.

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