The new government of Thailand has officially been established after His Majesty the King yesterday gave a royal endorsement for the country’s 59th government which had been proposed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Abhisit’s Democrat Party took 18 seats in the 36-seat Cabinet, including the ministers of defence, foreign affairs and finance. The rest of the seats are four from Chart Thai Pattana Party, five from Friends of Newin Group, four from Puea Pandin Party, two from Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana Party, one from Social Action Party and two from Phum Jai Thai Party.
Abhisit disclosed that he will also head the economic team and will be working closely with his Oxford classmate Korn Chatikavanij, formerly a JPMorgan Chase investment banker, who is now the Finance Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister Korbsak Sabhavasu, also from Democrat Party, whom will be assigned to oversee the overall picture of the country’s economy.
The new Cabinet line-up has unfortunately raised some questions on how the country’s political and economic woes could end as Abhisit had earlier announced as his priorities when some ministers were criticised as inappropriate or inexperienced.
Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, a Democrat Party member who was formerly an ambassador to the United States and Japan, was criticised for actively involved in the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protests against previous governments which supported ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
Commerce Minister Pornthiwa Nakasai of Phum Jai Thai Party was criticised for lacking expertise in the job which is vital to the current economic downturn.
The Cabinet members will be granted an audience with His Majesty the King to be sworn in on Monday.