PM Somchai and his new cabinet line-up

25 09 2008

Somchai Wongsawat, Thailand’s 26th Prime Minister said before the official disclosure of his 35 cabinet ministers that the list looks pretty and that he felt confident that the public would accept it. Yet, when the cabinet line-up was revealed yesterday, I must say that it looks as ugly as the previous one. Not only that there were no major surprisesit also confirms our belief of involvement of our former premier who placed his oeder from London to Bangkok.

Mr Somchai also takes a double position as Defence Minister – same as Samak – in order to take control of the military should they later decide to plan for another coup.

Former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, former justice minister Sompong Amornwiwat, former deputy prime minister Sanan Kachornprasart, former deputy public health minister Chavarat Charnvirakul and Olarn Chaiprawat take the post of Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr Sompong also doubles as Foreign Minister.

Sukhumpong Noankam and Supon Fong-ngarm take the post of Prime Minister’s Office Minister.

Suchart Thadathamrongvej is Finance Minister.Pradit Phattaraprasit and Ranongrak Suvarnchawee are Suchart’s deputies.

Chaiya Sasomsab is Commerce Minister. Songkram Kitlertpairote and Pol Lt Col Banyin Tangpakorn are his deputies.

Pracha Promnok serves as Industry Minister while Wannarat Charnnukul becomes Energy Minister.

Pol Gen Kowit Wattana is Interior Minister, while Preecha Rengsomboonsuk and Prasong Kositanond are his deputies.

Somsak Kiatsuranont becomes Justice Minister.

Santi Prompat maintains the post of Transport Minister. Sophon Saram and Sarawut Silpa-archa are his deputies.

Veerasak Kowsurat is Tourism and Sports Minister while Udomdech Rattanasathien is Social Development and Human Security Minister.

Somsak Prissananantakul is Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister. Sompat Kaewpichit and Theerachai Saenkaew are his deputies.

Anongwan Thepsuthin is Natural Resources and Environment Minister while Man Patthanothai becomes Information and Communications Technology Minister.

Uraiwan Thienthong is Labour Minister while Worawat Ua-apinyakul is Culture Minister.

Wuthipong Chaisaeng becomes Science and Technology Minister while Srimuang Charoensiri is Education Minister.

Pol Capt Chalerm Yubamrung becomes Public Health Minister. Wicharn Meenchainand is his deputy.

When Somchai was elected as PM, I thought it would ease out the tension. His soft spoken and less confrontational approach might contribute to peaceful negotiation to resolve social tension. Yet, I am very disappointed with his selection of cabinet members. It shows that he is not independent in the selection process as claimed and that for him to survive he has to please many fractions within the party.

It does not seem that the public and the media are impressed with the new cabinet members and it is interesting to see how the PAD would react to this.



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