Thai PM’s power play: Srettha hints at defence portfolio addition

Photo courtesy of X @Thavisin

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin drops hints of an unprecedented power move, hinting at the possibility of adding the defence portfolio to his already hefty workload. This bombshell revelation comes amidst swirling speculations about an imminent Cabinet reshuffle that could reshape Thailand’s political landscape.

Addressing a curious press pool after the delayed Cabinet meeting, the 62 year old PM, wearing a cryptic smile, kept the door wide open for speculation.

“At this second, I’m still the prime minister and finance minister.”

Amidst whispers of potential portfolio swaps, including the Finance Ministry passing hands to trusted aide Pichai Chunhavajira, and Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang facing a possible exit, the political arena is abuzz with anticipation, reported The Nation.

But the PM remains tight-lipped on the specifics, deftly dodging questions about the timing of any potential handover.

“I think everything will depend on chance and time.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Thai party quashes Cabinet reshuffle rumours

A wave of rumours surrounding a potential Cabinet reshuffle in Thailand was quashed yesterday by the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party.

The party’s Deputy Leader and list MP, Wittaya Kaewparadai, stated that despite talks circulating for over a month, no indications of an imminent reshuffle have been communicated by the prime minister.

Wittaya, referring to UTN leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, pointed out that any plans to alter the Cabinet line-up would be shared with the leaders of the coalition parties by the prime minister. The premier’s intentions behind a reshuffle would also be discussed, allowing partners to make appropriate decisions.

“As of now, the prime minister has not sent any signals.”

The UTN Party deputy further highlighted that all of UTN’s ministers were competent and there were no allegations against them that could potentially damage the government’s reputation.

Rumours of a reshuffle, Wittaya suggested, might be fuelled by politicians aspiring for a Cabinet position. He hinted at the possibility of some former Cabinet ministers from the ruling Pheu Thai Party wanting to make a comeback.

“However, the prime minister holds the power to reshuffle the Cabinet. If he doesn’t initiate it, it won’t take place.”

In addition to quashing rumours, Wittaya reassured that the government was not entangled in any corruption scandals. He added that the opposition would not be targeting any minister suspected of graft in the upcoming general debate.

Meanwhile, the Move Forward Party (MFP) urged the government to heed MFP chief adviser Pita Limjaroenrat’s call for a Cabinet reshuffle. MFP spokesman Parit Wacharasindhu appealed to the prime minister to assess his cabinet’s performance. He suggested the premier consider necessary changes, as put forth by Pita.

Parit stressed that the MFP was less concerned about the individuals appointed to the Cabinet and more focused on the government’s ability to deliver on its promises and implement policies. Regardless of who gets appointed to the Cabinet, the party would continue its close monitoring and scrutiny of the government, reported Bangkok Post.

Heightened speculation of an impending Cabinet shake-up was triggered when Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin advised the media to stay alert for possible changes, stirring the rumour mill into overdrive.

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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