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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2908

Thai King Endorses the new Cabinet line up

Bangkok, 21 December, ( Thailand King Bhumibol Adulyadej Saturday gave royal endorsement for Thailand's new cabinet line-up as proposed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva who earlier announced the new government would focus on building reconciliation and reviving the economy.

Earlier the royal command was issued on Friday citing Article 171 of the Constitution, which empowers the King to appoint the prime minister and not more than 35 other ministers to constitute the Council of Ministers.

The economic team is to be led by Mr. Abhisit himself with Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij, former head of JPMorgan Chase investment bank, will play a major supporting role while Deputy Prime Minister Korbsak Sabhavasu was assigned to see the overall picture of economy.

However, the line-up, which was widely expected, raised questions about how they could end the country's political and economic woes as the business sectors had already expressed their disappointment over the new economic portfolio assignment particularly Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai from the Phum Jai Thai party, who was heavily criticised as lacking expertise in the job.

Pramont Sutheewong, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade of Thailand had told the Prime Minister that the business circles are disappointed with new economic picks as it was important the government assign the positions to professionals fit for the task to avoid damaging the country's economy.

However, Santi Vilassakdanont said he was not overly worried about who comprises the full spectrum of new government's economic team, saying he understands that any coalition government must include varied faces and members, a natural constraint in forming any coalition.

Should any particular ministers lack knowledge and expertise in managing the public affairs they are assigned to supervise, he recommended, they set up teams of advisors with recognized knowledge and competence.

The minister who was also under scrutiny was Foreign minister Kasit Piromya, who was actively involved in the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) which protested against Mr. Somchai's government.

The PAD supporters also occupied Government House for three months and seized Thailand's two main airports, Suvaranbhumi and Don Mueang, causing great damage to the country's economy.

Mr. Abhisit conceded that there were limitations in cabinet portfolio appointment, but was optimistic that all work work for the well-being of the country.

Parliament voted Mr. Abhisit in on December 15 as Thailand's third prime minister in four months.

The new Cabinet members, led by Abhisit, are scheduled to have a royal audience to be sworn in at the Chitralada Palace on Monday, a source said.

The full list is of proposed members of the Cabinet:

As Prime Minister: Abhisit Vejjajiva; Deputy Prime Ministers: Suthep Thaugsuban, Korbsak Sabhavasu and Sanan Kachornprasart; and PM's Office Ministers: Satit Wongnongtaey and Virachai Virameteekul.

Defence Minister: Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan; Finance Minister: Korn Chatikavanij; Deputy Finance Ministers: Pradit Pataraprasit and Dr, Pruektichai Damrongrat; Foreign Affairs Minister: Kasit Piromya; Tourism and Sports Minister: Chumpol Silapa-archa; Social Development and Human Security Minister: Witoon Nambutr; Agriculture Minister: Theera Wongsamut; Deputy Agriculture Minister: Chartchai Pukkayaporn

Transport Minister: Sophon Saram, and Deputy Transport Ministers: Kuakul Danchaiwijit and Prajak Kaewklahan; Natural Resources and Environment Minister: Suwit Khunkitti; Information and Communications Technology Minister: Ranongruk Suwanchawee; Energy Minister: Wannarat Charnnukul; Commerce Minister: Pornthiva Nakasai; Deputy Commerce Minister: Alongkorn Pollabutr; and Industry Minister: Charnchai Chairungrueng

As Interior Minister: Chaovarat Chanweerakul; Deputy Interior Ministers: Boonjong Wongtrairat and Thaworn Senneam; Justice Minister: Pirapan Salirathavibhaga; Labour Minister: Phaithoon Kaeothong; Culture Minister: Teera Slukpetch; Science Minister: Kalaya Sophonpanich; Education Minister: Jurin Laksanawisit; Deputy Education Ministers: Chaiwuti Bannawat and Narisarat Chawaltanpithak; Public Health Minister: Witthaya Kaewparadai; Deputy Public Health Minister: Manite Nopamornbodi.

- Asian Tribune -

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