The Cabinet yesterday approved the transfer of permanent secretary at the Justice Ministry, Kittipong Kittayarak, as adviser to the prime minister, citing he had completed his six-year term.
The transfer was proposed by Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri. “I am afraid that many people might misunderstand the transfer of Kittipong and think he was transferred unfairly. I am repeating here that he is being transferred to a position of equal seniority,” Chaikasem said.
Permanent secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Tongthong Chandransu was appointed to replace Kittipong, while PM’s adviser Paradorn Pattanatabut would replace Tongthong.
Kittipong has completed his four-year term plus a two-year extension as the top Justice Ministry officer.
Meanwhile, Tongthong, who is also a legal expert, was a candidate for permanent secretary of Justice at the same time as Kittipong.
A source, who asked not to be named, said Kittipong in April submitted a letter to Chaikasem, saying he wanted the advisory post and would not accept another permanent secretary or administrative job as he wanted to dedicate his time to other work.
Kittipong is a member of the Reform Now Network, which has proposed solutions, including national reform for the country to get out of the political impasse.
During a rally of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) that campaigned for support from government officials, Kittipong was the first permanent secretary of a ministry to open the door and talk to PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban. Chaikasem denied the transfer was a response to Kittipong’s political activities.
In proposing solutions for the country’s political woes, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva on Saturday proposed that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her Cabinet resign, and the RNN, as a civic network, join hands with the PDRC and work on a plan for national reform.