Thailand: Cabinet reshuffle on the cards after sudden exit of newly appointed finance minister

  • Thailand
  • Sunday, 13 Sep 2020

(From left) Supattanapong, Suriya, Santi and Narumon. - The Nation Thailad/Asian News Network

BANGKOK, Sept 13 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha is expected to reshuffle the Cabinet of his coalition government soon after Finance Minister Predee Daochai resigned on Sept 1 less than a month after his appointment, according to a source in the ruling Palang Pracharat Party.

Predee, a former chairman of the Thai Bankers’ Association, cited health reasons for his abrupt departure from the Finance Ministry, but some observers believe he had a conflict with his deputy over the annual promotion of senior officials at the ministry.

A Palang Pracharat source said that Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who is also deputy prime minister, is a candidate for finance minister.

If Supattanapong gets the nod, he will have two posts - deputy prime minister and finance minister.

Deputy Finance Minister Santi Prompat is expected to replace Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit who is tipped to become energy minister.

Deputy Labour Minister Narumon Pinyosinwat is likely deputy finance minister while an MP from the Palang Pracharat will become deputy labour minister, according to the source.

The Palang Pracharat MP's name has been proposed to party leader General Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also deputy prime minister.

The Cabinet reshuffle is expected within this month or early next month, according to the source.

Predee, the banking veteran took office just last month as Prayut shook up his economic team to address the drop in demand and the devastation suffered by the country's vital tourist industry.

Thailand's economy shrank by 12.2 per cent in the second quarter, its worst contraction since the Asian financial crisis more than two decades ago.

Its economy is expected to contract by a record 8.5 per cent this year, according to the finance ministry.

Predee was co-president of Kasikornbank before leaving the lender to join the Cabinet.

He had worked for Kasikornbank for 38 years and graduated with law degrees from Thammasat University and a master’s degree in law from the University of Illinois. - The Nation Thailand/Asian News Network
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