Deputy Prime Minister & Four Other Cabinet Members Resign

Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Somkid Jatusripitak

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and four other Cabinet members tendered their resignations on Wednesday after mounting pressure fro the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) since the party’s leadership reshuffle.

Several sources said yesterday that Mr Jatusripitak, Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, Higher Education, Science and Innovations Minister Suvit Maesincee, and Deputy Secretary-General of the Prime Minister’s Office Kobsak Pootrakul have submitted their resignation letters and will hold a press conference on Thursday (today).

The Prime Minister told his close aides that he was informed about their decision but has not seen the resignation letters.

The resignations will clear the way for a cabinet reshuffle demanded by PPRP after supporters of Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon pushed for him to become the new party leader last month, replacing Mr Savanayana.

Mr Savanayana, Mr Sontijirawong, Mr Maesincee and Mr Pootrakul quit PPRP last Thursday to formally end ties with the party they had co-founded. Some party members demanded the resignation of Mr Jatusripitak and his economic team after Gen Prawit took the helm.

The four were brought into the economic team by Mr Jatusripitak in the military government formed after the 2014 coup.

Preedee Daochai, chairman of Thai Bankers’ Association, reportedly will be a candidate to take charge of economic policy in a new cabinet line-up.