Premier assigns jobs to her new deputies
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra assigned jobs to her new deputies yesterday, saying her new Cabinet was stronger than the two previous line-ups thanks to the inclusion of veterans. Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung replaced Yongyuth Wichaidit in the position of first deputy PM and has been put in charge of overseeing security issues and several ministries because he is experienced and has worked with the Cabinet for a long time, she said.
The prime minister made these remarks after the new Cabinet met for the first time yesterday. She also denied that she chose a new set of Cabinet advisers to reward certain red-shirt leaders, adding that those chosen were well qualified.
Meanwhile, PM's Office Minister Sansanee Nakpong told the media yesterday that Chalerm had been given the job of overseeing security because of his experience. Chalerm will also oversee the Social Development and Human Security, Justice, Interior and Labour ministries as well as the Consumer Protection Commission. He will also monitor the three southernmost provinces as well as the National Police and the National Intelligence Agency on the prime minister's behalf.
Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul, who also holds the post of deputy PM No 2, has been assigned to oversee the Science and Technology and Information and Communications Technology ministries as well as the National Research Commission.
The third deputy PM, Kittiratt Na-Ranong, will still be in charge of economic issues, while the fourth, Plodprasop Suraswadi, is overseeing ministries related to natural resources and the environment, particularly water issues, along with the Public Health Ministry.
Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana, who also holds the post of deputy PM No 5, will oversee foreign issues as well as the Justice and Culture ministries. He will also deal with international defence issues and the Civil Servant Commission. Sixth Deputy PM Chumpol Silapa-archa will continue overseeing the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
PM's Office Minister Varathep Ratanakorn, meanwhile, has been put in charge of the Mass Communication Organisation of Thailand, while his colleague Sansanee will supervise the Public Relations Department. Sansanee issued a public promise that she would not abuse her power when she oversees the influential PR Department.