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Reshuffle of Cabinet based on 'suitability', says Yingluck

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday cited "suitability" as the reason for her latest Cabinet reshuffle.

"I stick to the principle of suitability," she said. "The government has run the country for almost two years, so it is reasonable to expect a Cabinet reshuffle."

Deputy Government Spokesman Pakdiharn Himathongkham said that among the new Cabinet appointees were "capable people" who had served as government ministers in the government of Yingluck's elder brother Thaksin Shinawatra. He said their participation in the current government would help boost its efficiency. "It's like giving a 'magic touch' to the new Cabinet," he added.

In response to a remark by opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva that the prime minister should stop Thaksin's influence in government affairs, Pakdiharn said it appeared the Democrat Party leader was "envious".

Another Deputy Government Spokesperson, Sunisa Lertpakawat, also countered Democrat Party criticism of the potential Cabinet line-up yesterday. She said it was merely based on media speculation and not on the official Cabinet line-up, which would be endorsed by His Majesty the King.

Sunisa also rejected allegations by the Democrats that the prime minister would double as defence minister in a bid to interfere with the military's transfers of senior commanders in the armed forces. She said the Defence Ministry Administration Act, issued by the post-coup government in 2008, prevents politicians from interfering with transfers of high-ranking military officials.

Deputy Interior Minister Chatt Kuldiloke, who is likely to be replaced in the latest Cabinet shake-up, said yesterday that he would take a long rest. A retired police commander, he pointed out that he had been serving the country for many years. He turned 70 this year.






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