Cabinet reshuffle dismissed by key ministers following budget bill

Photo courtesy of Government Hose

Talk of a possible Cabinet reshuffle has been dismissed by three key Cabinet ministers, following the passing of the budget expenditure bill in early April. Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang, and Agriculture Minister Capt Thamanat Prompow are the ministers in question.

Rumours have been circulating about a potential Cabinet reshuffle since the ministers took office on the first of September last year. On February 28, Phumtham Wechayachai hinted that such a reshuffle may be on the cards following the clearance of the national budget expenditure bill in Parliament. He stated that the performance of the ministers will be evaluated by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who also has the power to order a reshuffle if deemed necessary, reported Bangkok Post.

Sutin Klungsang yesterday addressed the reshuffle rumours, labelling them as pure speculation.

“There have been neither positive nor negative signals for a reshuffle. I’ve only picked up signals of encouragement for me to continue in the defence portfolio.”

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He concurred with Phumtham’s statement that a minister’s performance will be the deciding factor whether they are assigned a different ministerial post or removed from the Cabinet.

Phumtham Wechayachai expressed his determination to remain in his current position, stating that the prime minister is satisfied with his work. He added that the situation regarding the reshuffle will become clearer after the completion of the budget expenditure bill.

For the past six months, the government has been unable to proceed with investments due to the budget bill not being passed into law. Phumtham, who is also the head of the House committee on budget, anticipates the bill to be enacted at least 15 days earlier than planned. He added that he has not received any information about a cabinet reshuffle from the prime minister, despite being a close aide.

Ministers’ determination

Agriculture Minister Capt Thamanat Prompow also stated that he has not been informed about a reshuffle.

“It’s up to the prime minister to decide.”

Deputy government spokesman Karom Polpornklang detailed the timeline for the deliberation and enactment of the budget expenditure bill. The bill is expected to be voted on in the second and third readings in the House of Representatives from March 20–21, instead of from April 3–4 as initially planned.

It will then be presented to the Senate for deliberation from March 25–26, instead of from April 9–10. Finally, the Cabinet Secretariat Office will present the bill for royal endorsement on April 3, instead of April 17, marking its enactment into law.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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