“Gen Prawit said he will work in the same way as Gen Prayut,” the source said. “He told everyone to carry out their work as usual. Gen Prawit did not give any special instructions.”
“The reshuffle lists will follow the procedure,” the source added. “The lists, suggested by Gen Prayut, will not be revised.”
Prawit, who also serves as a deputy prime minister, turned up at Government House yesterday (Aug 26) for his first day as acting premier, reports the Bangkok Post.
He refused to answer reporters’ questions upon arrival. He only smiled when reporters asked how he felt about his first day on the job.
He did not reply when asked if he had held talks with Prayut after the Constitutional Court on Wednesday suspended Prayut as prime minister pending its ruling on his tenure in office.
He also refused to comment when asked if there would be a House dissolution or cabinet reshuffle.
The upcoming military shuffle will see a changing of the guard in the navy and the air force as current chiefs Adm Somprasong Nilsamai and ACM Napadej Dhupatemiya will retire at the end of next month, while Gen Worakiat Ratananont will also retire as permanent secretary at the Defence Ministry around the same time.
The military reshuffle list will be considered by a panel made up of Prayut in his capacity as defence minister, the deputy defence minister, the permanent secretary for defence and commanders of the armed forces before being forwarded to the government.
The National Police Policy Board will also gather on Monday to discuss the selection of a new national police chief to replace incumbent Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk, who will retire at the end of next month. Prawit, in his capacity as acting prime minister, will chair the meeting.
Government spokesman, Anucha Burapachaisri, said Prayut had turned up for work at the Defence Ministry and extended moral support to Prawit.
“The government can carry on without any vacuum in national administration,” Mr Anucha said, adding the business sector remains confident in the stability of the government.
The sector did not express concern about the government’s state investment policy because the budget bill for the fiscal year 2023 was already endorsed by parliament during its third reading on Tuesday.
Deputy government spokeswoman Tipanan Sirichana yesterday said Prayut remains in good spirits and thanked people for giving him moral support following his suspension.
She said Prawit will carry out Prayut’s tasks as acting prime minister, in line with the government’s policy framework.
“Measures aimed at easing the plight of people affected by economic problems and revitalising the economy will proceed smoothly and seamlessly,” she said.
On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court decided to suspend Gen Prayut from his post as prime minister until it hands down its ruling on his term limit.
The suspension order followed the court’s unanimous decision to accept the opposition’s petition asking it to rule on Prayut’s eight-year tenure. The petition, signed by 171 MPs from the opposition wing, was submitted on Monday.