Friday, October 26, 2012

PM Yingluck says this new Cabinet line-up is really her own work

"Defies" may be putting it a bit too dramatically. But there are signs that the younger sister may have tried to push the limits a bit more aggressively with her elder brother.

Premier Yingluck Shinawatra insists: "I did it myself." And to a degree, she might be telling the truth. It's difficult, however, to convince a cynical Thai public that her brother Thaksin has nothing to do with compiling the list of the 3rd Yingluck Cabinet at all.
The fact that Kittirat na Ranong remains deputy premier and finance minister goes some distance to prove that Yingluck can overrule Thaksin over issues over which she is determined to exercise her authority as the prime minister. But the inclusion of some prominent "Group of 111" -- those who have just emerged from a five-year political ban -- in the new line-up points to Thaksin's clear influence over the reshuffle.
The choices, obviously, have nothing to do with the principle of "putting the right person in the right job." Most of the new Cabinet members have been named to their positions either because of their affiliations with important factions within Pheu Thai Party or under the unofficial "quota system" to pay political debts.
The premier says she didn't time the Cabinet shakeup (a total of 22 positions are affected) to avoid confronting the Opposition's threat to submit a House censure debate (due to be filed Oct 31). Her official reason for the changes was that two ministers -- Interior Minister Yongyuth Vichaidith and Agriculture Minister Teera Wongsawmud -- have called it quits, necessitating changes in the line-up anyway.
The real reason, of course, is that pressure has been building from various factions within the party, among the red-shirts and members of the "Group of 111" to again start the Merry-Go-Round rotating once again.

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