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  Home > Thailand

PM Urged To Put Economy First In Cabinet Reshuffle

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha toured flooded areas, visited markets and spoke (above) to officials in Nakhon Si Thammarat, but this week is back at work on Bangkok politics. (Bangkok Post photo)


 November 6th, 2017  |  10:48 AM  |   1664 views



The upcoming cabinet reshuffle should focus on bringing in expertise to shore up the economy while avoiding nepotism or favouritism, say political parties.


Pheu Thai acting leader Pol Lt Gen Viroj Pao-in said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha should pay more attention to the cabinet posts most involved with improving the country's economy.


The main problem facing most people, especially the grassroots, is financial hardship, so this area should be the priority, he said.


A cabinet reshuffle is widely expected following the resignation of Labour Minister Gen Sirichai Distakul.


Democrat deputy leader Ongart Khlampaiboon echoed the Pheu Thai leader's suggestions, saying the government should take this chance to appoint the right candidates to the right roles.


"The government should put national interest before their own people or those with close affiliations and should adjust its working process to focus on transparency. It should increase efficiency," he said.



Democrat veteran Charoen Khanthawong said the prime minister should consider "retiring" some cabinet ministers and concentrate on the pressing economic problems.


As for the calls by political parties for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to lift its ban on political activities, Mr Charoen said the regime should start by relaxing some regulations.


He said parties are concerned about stricter rules under the new organic law and need time to make adjustments and preparations for a general election.


On this matter, Pol Lt Gen Viroj said public security, which was cited by Gen Prayut and his deputy, Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, as a key reason to delay lifting the ban, is not justified because he did not see any sign of threats.


Chulalongkorn University political scientist Chaiyan Chaiyaporn agreed with the idea of a cabinet reshuffle that would increase the number of civilians in the cabinet.


Mr Chaiyan also agreed the government should lift the ban on political activities.


"I don't think there will be any unrest. Politicians have now learned their lessons ... Stirring up conflicts again would also confirm the NCPO's hypothesis that politicians are trouble-makers."


Acting Pheu Thai deputy spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said the premier should listen to what the public have to say.


At least three surveys have suggested that over 70% of the respondents agree with calls to lift the ban, he said.


According to a new Suan Dusit Poll, about 65% of 1,289 respondents were in support of the ban being lifted, against 35% who want it to stay.


However, those in favour of the lifting of the ban came up with different suggestions concerning the timing.


Some suggested it should be lifted next year while many said it should be lifted six months before elections take place.



courtesy of BANGKOK POST



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