New cabinet lineup expected 1-2 weeks after election results endorsed: Yingluck

Friday, 15 July 2011 From Issue Vol. XIX No. 28 By  MCOT

Thailand’s prime minister-to-be Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday said the list of cabinet members should be done in one or two weeks after the Election Commission (EC) endorses the July 3 election results, while reaffirming that her cabinet line-up has not been influenced by her brother, self-exiled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The top Pheu Thai party list candidate made remarks following reports that several elected Pheu Thai MPs and de facto leader of Chartthaipattana Party, Banharn Silpa-archa met the deposed premier Thaksin in Brunei to discuss open ministerial posts.

Yingluck said Banharn and Pheu Thai elected MPs likely discussed personal issues, and were not bargaining for posts in the new government as all cabinet positions are being considered within Thailand without Thaksin’s influence.

“To my knowledge they did not talk about [cabinet posts] and we have to wait for an official endorsement of the poll results by the Election Commission,” stated Yingluck. “After the endorsement, it will take about one or two weeks to form the new government.”

Yingluck is set to be the country’s first female prime minister after her Pheu Thai party won the July 3 general election with 265 seats out of 500 parliamentary seats.

She also announced that five smaller parties - including Chartthaipattana, Chart Pattana Puea Pandin, Palang Chon, Mahachon, and New Democrat Party - would join the government, resulting in a new coalition government with 300 seats in total.

As the winning party was planning the new cabinet, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban on Sunday expressed confidence that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva would be reelected as the Democrat Party leader again.

The former secretary-general of Democrat Party made remarks following reports that some groups of Democrats are now attempting to prevent Abhisit from retaking the post following the defeat in the last Sunday election.

Suthep dismissed the rumors, saying everybody can see that Abhisit is the most suitable person and that the Democrat conference will vote unanimously for him to return as the party leader.

Abhisit announced his resignation as Democrat party leader last Monday after the number of MP seats won by his party in this election was lower than in the previous 2007 general election.

Suthep also stepped down as the party’s secretary-general and pledged that he would not take the post again.

The Democrat Party is expected to hold its general assembly to choose a new leader to replace Abhisit in mid-August.

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