Thaksin’s politicking may spark Cabinet reshuffle, academic says


Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's role in Thai politics has triggered a high possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle, a political expert said on Tuesday.

Yuttaporn Issarachai, a lecturer at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University's School of Political Science, said Thaksin is taking part in Thai politics, such as his visit to Chiang Mai and meeting with several ministers amid rumours of Cabinet reshuffle.

"It is clear that Thaksin is a person who has set up political strategies, which reflects a high possibility of Cabinet reshuffle," he said.

Yuttaporn Issarachai

He believes that a Cabinet reshuffle would aim to improve its efficiency in driving political strategies, as the government needs to evaluate its work and ensure that the right people are in the right positions.

"The government will reach the first anniversary of its administration on May 14, so many projects should be clear, such as the digital wallet scheme and soft-power policies," he said.

He added that this Cabinet reshuffle might not result in changing the prime minister because it is not necessary to do so.

Yuttaporn believes that Thaksin has not dominated Thai politics yet, confirming that incumbent Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin still has a role in decision-making. However, he noted that it is necessary to see if Thaksin's advice influences decision-making.

He added that it is possible for another former prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, will return to Thailand this year, but it is necessary to consider factors involved with her return.

Many cases against Yingluck have been dismissed so far, but some are still pending. These include government-to-government rice deals, compensation payments to politically affected persons between 2005 and 2010, and unusual wealth related to the rice-pledging scheme.