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New Thai lineup set to be unveiled by end next week

Interim prime minister will publicy explain why each member of Cabinet was selected

New Thai lineup  set to be unveiled by end next week

The Cabinet for Thailand's new military-backed government that will hold power for one year pending general elections will be unveiled next week, the interim prime minister said yesterday.
Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, installed Sunday to head the interim government following Thailand's September 19 bloodless coup, told reporters the Cabinet lineup will be finalized this week and announced the next.
The former army commander said he would publicly explain why he selected each minister.
Asked if he is putting together a "dream team," Surayud quipped, "My Cabinet will work in the real world."
The Cabinet is expected to include respected technocrats and political figures with clean backgrounds. The military council that ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra accused his government of corruption and is investigating the allegations.
Meanwhile, Thaksin - who was in New York during the coup and remains overseas - has resigned as leader of the Thai Rak Thai party he founded, funded and led to three election victories.
Thaksin faxed his resignation letter from London on Tuesday, after more than 200 of his party colleagues deserted the party he created in 1998.
Surayud said that his Cabinet will create a new policy aimed at ending southern Thailand's bloody Muslim separatist insurgency, and that several people who helped bring peace to the long-troubled region in the past will join his team.
"I am confident that the situation will improve," Surayud said.
He said it was too early to talk about contacting the shadowy rebels to hold peace talks.
More than 1,700 people have died in the three southern provinces bordering Muslim-majority Malaysia since early 2004, with much of the blame placed on Thaksin's iron-fisted strategy to crush the rebels instead of focusing on the grievances in the region.
Most Thais are Buddhists. Muslims, a majority in the far south, have long complained of discrimination.
Surayud indicated he would enlist help from three people instrumental to making the south relatively stabile in the 1980s: retired General Harn Leenanond; former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh; and Palakorn Suwanrat, who had headed a southern task force which Thaksin dissolved.
Western nations and human rights groups have criticized the coup. The ruling military council's appointment of a former army commander as interim prime minister has done little to ease that disapproval.
The military's council's interim constitution empowers coup leaders to remove the prime minister and Cabinet, and maintains restrictions imposed by the military, including curbs on press freedoms and limits on public gatherings.


Updated : 2021-05-09 19:24 GMT+08:00