Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Surapong: Even he himself was surprised to be FM

Surapong Tohvijakchaikul, an MP from Chiang Mai, who is close to Thaksin Shinawatra, was himself surprised over the appointment as foreign minister.

He told a TV interviewer on Nation Channel last night soon after the official announcement of the Yingluck Cabinet was officially endorsed by a royal command that he was "very reluctant" about the new portfolio.

This morning, Surapong told reporters that he had known about the foreign affairs portfolio only a few hours before the official list was announced last night. "I had thought I might be a deputy finance minister," he said.

That immediately spurred speculation that Thaksin had put Surapong as foreign minister so that the latter could help overcome obstacles that have barred the former from travelling around the world. Surapong, observers sy, could help pave the way for the former premier to return to Thailand.

The Bangkok Post said foreign ministry officials voiced disappointment over the appointment. One official who asked to remain anonymous, was quoted as saying: "Only a few foreign ministry officials know about him. He has never held any ministerial post before."

Of course, you can't blame Surapong for that. He didn't ask for the portfolio. He admits he isn't prepared to take the job. Besides, if you ask me, he isn't supposed to be running foreign affairs either. He is there probably for certain specific missions. Perhaps, one should ask Prime Minister Yingluck about it.

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