January 3, 2024
BANGKOK – Speaking to reporters before attending the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Phumtham said there would be no Cabinet reshuffle any time soon as all parties in the coalition are working in harmony.
Phumtham, who also holds the Commerce portfolio, said all steps have been taken to ensure rumours like this do not harm the coalition’s unity.
The Pheu Thai-led coalition comprising 11 parties and 314 seats in the House of Representatives, has two vacant ministerial positions. The Cabinet has 34 members instead of the ideal 36.
Meanwhile, Phumtham said the ruling party was dividing its attention between the administration, the Parliament and the party itself. He said as Pheu Thai leader, it was Paetongtarn’s responsibility to guarantee the party can effectively address all these sides.
Separately, Social Development and Human Security Minister Varawut Silpa-archa told reporters on Tuesday that Pheu Thai had the authority to give Paetongtarn a ministerial portfolio.
He added that Paetongtarn meets all the requirements necessary for a minister.
The rumours of a possible Cabinet reshuffle, meanwhile, were sparked by comments from certain politicians.
Move Forward Party leader Chaithawat Tulathon said on Sunday that Paetongtarn may be given a ministerial position in an impending Cabinet reshuffle.
He even predicted that she may replace Srettha Thavisin as prime minister as he is already facing many complaints.
However, in an interview with Thai media on Monday, Paetongtarn rejected the rumours, saying she had no plans to take the role of prime minister at this time. She said her only job was to lead the Pheu Thai party and help Srettha as much as she can.
Paetongtarn, who is the youngest daughter of Pheu Thai’s patriarch, former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, assumed leadership of the ruling party despite joining it just two years ago.