Thailand’s Deputy PM and Top Economic Team Resigns, Cabinet Shakeup Expected

BANGKOK,  Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and three cabinet ministers including the finance minister have tendered their resignation Thursday after facing pressure following the leadership reshuffle of Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) last month.

The resignation of Somkid and the economic team – Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong and Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Suvit Maesincee signalled a cabinet shakeup.

Deputy secretary-general to the prime minister for political affairs Kobsak Pootrakool also resigned from his post.

Led by Uttama, the group – except Somkid who was absent – handed their letter of resignation to the secretary-general to the Prime Minister Dissatat Hotrakit at the Government House on Thursday.

Somkid’s resignation letter was handed by Korbsak.

At a press conference later, Uttama said their resignation was effective immediately.

“We think it is an appropriate time to resign for the country to move forward. It will reduce the vague and political pressure that may put on Prime Minister (General Prayuth Chan o-cha). This is our own decision. There was no pressure.

“We would like to thank the prime minister for his trust and opportunity to work for the people and the country,” he said.

Uttama also hinted that Somkid’s health was one of the reasons behind his abrupt decision to resign.

“He wants to take some rest and take care of his health, so do we… Please let us take some rest,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sontirat refuted claims the group will set up a new political party but is committed to the country.

“We would like to stop from (indulging in) any political activities,” he said.

On July 9, Uttama who is also the former PPRP party leader, Sontirat (former secretary-general of PPRP) and Suvit (deputy party leader) quit PPRP – Thailand’s largest party in the 19-party ruling coalition, following a leadership change last month.

Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwan took the helm of PPRP after 18 of 34 PPRP executives resigned on June 1.

As Thailand struggles to halt economic fallout caused by COVID-19, the resignation of the finance team could dampen the economic recovery as the government is struggling to ease the impact brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Source: NAM News Network