The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Somkid quits ahead of Cabinet reshuffle

Somkid quits ahead of Cabinet reshuffle

BANGKOK: Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and three ministers working for him have resigned from the Cabinet, paving the way for the reshuffle of the government’s economic ministerial team.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 16 July 2020, 09:32AM

The government’s economic team led by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak resigned on Wednesday (July 15). Photo: Bangkok Post

The government’s economic team led by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak resigned on Wednesday (July 15). Photo: Bangkok Post

The three ministers are Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong and Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Suvit Maesincee, reports the Bangkok Post.


Kobsak Pootrakul, deputy secretary-general of the prime minister and also in Mr Somkid’s team, also resigned.

All four have been part of the economic team led by Mr Somkid and recently resigned from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).

A source in the government said Mr Somkid informed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of his resignation on Wednesday, citing his health problems. “A press conference will be called on Thursday on the re­signations,” Mr Uttama said on Wednesday. One of the most immediate issues is how soon a new team will replace them.

Mr Somkid on Wednesday went to Chumphon, where he is due to address village fund operators in the southern province this morning.

The resignations came after Preedee Daochai, chairman of the Thai Bankers’ Association, reportedly played golf recently with Distat Hotrakitya, the PM’s Secretary-General.

Mr Preedee was reportedly made an offer to join the government as the head of its new economic team, having previously rejected the offer.

Mr Somkid and his team were told by several political factions in the PPRP to resign as their colleagues wanted their ministerial seats to be shared.

Those factions recently installed Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon as the new party leader in place of Mr Uttama.

It was also reported recently that Mr Somkid and his team planned to set up a new political party or group.

Reports of Mr Somkid’s resignation sparked immediate concern in business circles over the shape of the government’s next economic team against the backdrop of an economy badly damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diamond Resort Phuket

“The government cannot afford any delays in replacing the economic team as the private sector is worried about the future of economic stimulus projects initiated by the Somkid team,” said Kalin Sarasin, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

All these projects required sharp decisions and sophistication in implementation, said Mr Kalin – qualities possessed by Mr Somkid, a pillar of the government’s economic team.

Mr Kalin said all eyes were now on the prospective leader and members of the new team, meaning there was no room for the government to disappoint the public with names that were any less respected or trusted.

The new economic team must impress from the outset, to gain trust and confidence among not only the people and businesses in the country, but also foreign business people and investors alike, he said.

Kriangkrai Tiannukul, vice chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said the FTI agreed with the ministers’ resignations because the path was now clear to resolve political conflicts and create a positive mood in the nation.

The FTI believed the manner of the ministers’ departure would put an end to the negative image of Thailand being a country beset by political rifts and this would create renewed confidence among investors.

However, the FTI does have a concern the new economic team will not continue the economic policies put in place by those who have departed.

Mr Kriangkrai said Thailand needed the best people and economic policies that would drive the economy forward despite the pandemic.

“If the premier [hopes to] choose a new economic team that is also accepted by Thai people, it should be made up of economic experts,” he said.

Thongyoo Kongkhan, adviser chairman of the Land Transport Federation of Thailand, also felt the ministers’ resignations would be beneficial because Thailand needed new teams to push the economy forward.

Preeyanart Soontornwata, president of B.Grimm Power Plc, said she had no fears about the energy minister’s resignation because plans for natural gas have been in place for several years.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Be the first to comment.


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
UK exempts Thais from quarantine

@Nasa12 Actually it would be a "direct flight". Learn the difference between a "dir...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Driving prices

Go almost anywhere in Phuket and notice the fancy (annoyingly loud) stereo systems in the tuk tuks. ...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Driving prices

Everyone knows why...... A very strong “taxi union”!!...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Driving prices

The taxi pricing should be set the same as Bangkok. Why allow these guys to operate without meters a...(Read More)

Phuket’s wild weather fells trees, cuts of power across island

Maybe it would be a good idea to have a crew of workers on patrol to cut the trees that are near the...(Read More)

UK exempts Thais from quarantine

@DKK, Then it’s not a direct flight. So then 14-day quarantine. ...(Read More)

Thai returnee from Saudi Arabia dies of Covid-19

How many of the 59 have been returnees in quarantine conditions? It doesn't seem fair to include...(Read More)

Still Hungry: Thousands in Phuket remain in need of food donations as government efforts stall

While the Thai government focus on tourism, it stalls help to it citizens. Many well fed- and paid O...(Read More)

Still Hungry: Thousands in Phuket remain in need of food donations as government efforts stall

Thanks Kurt,I will try ,off course I pay for it , no problem Horst...(Read More)

Phuket beaches closed as foreigner rescued from storm surf

Don't risk your own life for somebody to want's to commit suicide ! Horst...(Read More)