BANGKOK, July 1 — His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej granted a royal audience to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and 18 newly appointed Cabinet members who took their oaths of allegiance on Sunday before officially assuming their duties.
The monarch earlier in the day issued a royal command endorsing the new cabinet ministers, the fifth lineup since Ms Yingluck assumed the premiership on August 5, 2011.
Eleven ministers and deputy ministers were removed in the latest reshuffle.
In the new cabinet lineup, Ms Yingluck assumed the defence minister’s portfolio, the first woman in Thailand’s history to sit in this post while Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa returned to the cabinet as deputy defence minister.
Outspoken Deputy Prime Minister Pol Capt Chalerm Yoobamrung, who was responsibility for resolving the southern problems, was appointed labour minister, replacing Padermchai Sasomsap.
Pol Gen Pracha Promnok was transferred from justice minister to deputy prime minister and was expected to take over Mr Chalerm’s current duties.
Chaturon Chaisaeng, a former leader of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai Party, and one of the party’s 111 executives banned from politics for five years was appointed education minister.
Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan has been moved from the position of Prime Minister’s Office Minister to Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister superseding embattled Boonsong Teriyapirom who was under fire for the controversial rice pledging scheme.
Two new female cabinet ministers are Paveena Hongsakul and Benja Louicharoen.
Ms Paveena, who has worked and fought to protect children’s and women’s rights, was appointed social development and human security minister. Ms Benja has taken the deputy finance minister portfolio.
Meanwhile, Sansanee Nakpong has lost her post as Prime Minister’s Office Minister.
Ms Yingluck will chair a cabinet meeting tomorrow when she will allocate responsibilities to the new ministers.