No early election, no Cabinet reshuffle says Thai PM

PHOTO: Royal Thai Government

The Thai PM says he has no plans to call an early election or to reshuffle his Cabinet after 21 MPs loyal to him were pushed out earlier this week. The Bangkok Post reports that Prayut Chan-o-cha has also distanced himself from the ouster of Thamanat Prompow and 20 other MPs, who have been accused of sowing division within the ranks of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party. The PM says their dismissal was an internal party affair and that the PPRP was probably trying to restore a sense of normalcy.

“I’m not saying who is good or bad. Let their actions speak for themselves. The people will decide at the next election. I insist that I have no intention to change the cabinet line-up or dissolve the House. The law (on the new election system) isn’t ready. Don’t mix them up.”

The dismissal of Thamanat and the other MPs means they now have 30 days to find a new party or lose their MP status, according to the Bangkok Post report. Their removal follows Thamanat’s sacking from Cabinet a few months ago, accused of trying to orchestrate the removal of the PM in a no-confidence debate last year.

According to media reports, 8 small coalition parties are considering an alliance with Thamanat. However, Suratin Picharn, leader of the New Democracy Party, says things are only at the discussion stage at the moment and no decision has been made.

“Things should become clear next week. I have to wait for him to get a new party first.”

Khathathep Techadechruangkul from the Puea Chart Thai Party has denied suggestions that his party might join Thamanat’s, insisting that 5 parties will remain aligned with the ruling coalition and continue to support the PM.

Meanwhile, when asked if the PPRP leader and deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon had any comment to make on the latest developments, the PM responded: “Love and best wishes and mutual respect.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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