Yingluck denies reports of Thaksin appointment as trade envoy

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BANGKOK, July 6 – Thailand’s prime minister-to-be Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday denied media reports that her brother, ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, would be appointed as a trade envoy for her new Pheu Thai-led government, saying that no discussions have taken place regarding cabinet portfolios and no posts have been assigned at the moment.

Speaking to reporters before chairing a meeting of the Pheu Thai party economic policy team at party headquarters, Ms Yingluck said there has been no discussion regarding ministerial posts, despite reports in the media.

“I want to wait until the policy drafting is completed before the selection process starts to put the right man in the right job. The party will not oversee [all] 10 major ministries.”

She said the assignment of cabinet portfolios could become clearer after the Election Commission (EC) officially certifies the elected MPs.

Ms Yingluck denied media reports that Mr Thaksin would be appointed as a trade envoy, saying that the party executive committee would consider who would be selected as minister and Mr Thaksin has no plan to take any post in the government.

She said that her brother is living in self-exile abroad and gave her only moral support. Any useful advise on particular issues could be made through the party’s strategy panel.

“He would neither be involved with the party nor with the government,” Ms Yingluck stated.

As for the defence minister post, Ms Yingluck said she had no one in mind but will seek a person that can work with all parties, while the posts of economic ministers would not only be selected from capable party members but are also open for non-partisan high-calibre experts.

Ms Yingluck later said her party will urgently address pressing issues as promised during the election campaign once her five-party coalition government delivers its policy statement to parliament. The key priorities are building national reconciliation, tackling rising costs of living, solving drugs problem and restoring relations with neighbouring countries.

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