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Thai premier silent on pressure to reshuffle Cabinet
Publication Date : 15-05-2012
Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday declined to comment on whether she was under pressure from the banned 111 Thai Rak Thai executives to reshuffle the Cabinet.
The banned politicians will resume their political activity at the end of this month after having been deprived of the right to engage in politics for the past five years. The party, founded by former Thailaind premier Thaksin Shinawatra, was officially banned in 2007 due to violations of electoral laws during the 2006 legislative elections.
Speaking before leaving for Qatar, Yingluck declined to answer, but suggested reporters ask other Cabinet members.
Deputy prime minister Yongyuth Wichaidit, who saw the prime minister off at the airport, said no one could pressure Yingluck to reshuffle the Cabinet.
Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit agreed that Yingluck was independent and that no one could pressure her.
"There is no signal for any Cabinet reshuffle. The government has an urgent task in addressing problems faced by the people - but if there is a reshuffle in the future, that would be normal,'' he said.
Democrat Party Nakhon Si Thammarat MP Thepthai Senpong said no one could speculate about the Cabinet reshuffle because the person holding the strings is Thaksin Shinawatra. Those who want ministerial positions must talk directly to Thaksin, he claimed.
Thepthai said Sudarat Keyuraphan, one of the 111 banned politicians, had refused to accept a Cabinet post because she knew her political experience and charisma would overshadow that of Yingluck and would adversely affect the Cabinet's image.
ICT Minister Anudith Nakornthap was resigned to his fate on whether he would be removed from his post, saying it is a normal occurrence.
"If the Cabinet reshuffle brings about knowledgeable and competent ministerial members to help the government in running the country, I can carry out my duty as MP, which is also prestigious,'' he said.