FRIDAY, April 19, 2024

June reshuffle could see Democrats invited to join govt coalition

June reshuffle could see Democrats invited to join govt coalition

The ruling Pheu Thai Party could invite the Democrat Party to join the government coalition and offer it both minister and deputy minister positions after the cabinet reshuffle in June, a source familiar with the matter revealed on Monday.

It is speculated that the reshuffle would take place after the draft of the budget for fiscal 2025 passes its first reading during the Parliament meeting on June 5-6.

The source said Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is likely to pass his finance portfolio to Pichai Chunhavajira, chairman of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, and assume the position of Defence Minister instead.

Current Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang would be then assigned to Parliamentary affairs, as per Pheu Thai Party’s resolution, the source added.

The source speculated that PM Office Minister Puangpetch Chunla-ead, Culture Minister Sermsak Pongpanich, and Tourism Minister Sudawan Wangsupakitkosol could see their positions swapped for more efficient administration, especially in soft power promotion.

To strengthen the government, Pheu Thai could invite the Democrat Party to join the coalition by sacrificing its minister quota and a deputy minister quota from Bhumjaithai Party to the Democrats, said the source.

Democrat’s secretary-general Dech-it Khaothong and Nakhon Si Thammarat MP Chaichana Detdacho are two likely candidates to join the new cabinet.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai’s three deputy ministers, namely Krieng Kalptinan, Chaiya Promma, and Chakkraphong Saengmanee, who hold interior, agriculture and foreign affairs portfolios respectively, could be removed from positions due to lack of achievements, said the source.

The current Srettha government is a coalition of 11 parties with a total of 315 MP seats. Adding Democrats to the roster would give the coalition 21 more MP votes from the party’s 25 seats.

Four Democrat MPs who have been vocal in their opposition to joining the government coalition are Chuan Leekpai, Jurin Laksanawisit, Banyat Bantadtan, and Sanphet Bunyamanee.