PM remaining silent on issue of Nalinee


BANGKOK, Jan 21 — Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday was silent on whether her fellow Pheu Thai party members pressured Nalinee Thaveesin to resign from a ministerial post, only saying that she will reexamine the issue.

Ms Yingluck, who presided over the opening of the Centre for Creative Community under Ploenchit expressway, declined to comment on reports that Pheu Thai party members put pressure on Ms Nalinee to resign from the Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office post after she was named by the United States as a business crony of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

The US Treasury Department in 2008 used the term crony to describe the relationship of Ms Nalinee and three other persons with President Mugabe. The move culminated in Ms Nalinee’s assets in the US being frozen and Washington banning her from doing business or conducting any financial or commercial transactions with US citizens.

Ms Yingluck only told reporters that she would investigate the issue once again.

The premier earlier defended her decision on Ms Nalinee’s posting, saying that her qualifications as an appointee had been checked and met all the Thai constitutional requirements.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Wednesday endorsed the cabinet reshuffle proposed by Ms Yingluck and she was scheduled to lead 16 newly-appointed cabinet ministers to take an oath of allegiance to HM the King on Monday at 5.30 pm at Siriraj Hospital before the new ministers officially start work.