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New cabinet likely to have little time to prove themselves

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September 24, 2008

Thailand Political Stalemate:
New cabinet likely to have little time to prove themselves

Thailand’s new 36-member Cabinet has now been formed and is ready for royal endorsement Thursday, and the first meeting would be held later this week, government news agency TNA quoted Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat as saying Tuesday.

“In my view, all members of the new cabinet 'look good' for the job. Anyhow, it depends on the perspective of each individual. Some may see they look good but some may not. It doesn't matter, but they should be given the opportunity to work first,” Somchai said.

The new Cabinet line-up has yet to be officially made public, but local media, quoting sources in the government, reported negative responses to the choice of certain ministerial candidates.

Somchai has said all those selected are well-qualified and appropriate, and asked that his cabinet nominees be given time to prove themselves, but the prime minister may find it difficult to justify his selection, reported local English-language newspapers Wednesday.

Local critics wonder whether Sompong Amornwiwat, Suchart Thadathamrongvej, Chalerm Yubamrung, reportedly chosen for foreign, finance and public health minister positions respectively, are qualified or appropriate, reported the Bangkok Post.

The private sector is unsure if the right persons will be entrusted with the right jobs, reported the Nation.

The absence of prominent outsiders for key economic and other portfolios such as the foreign and finance ministries suggests the new government would be short-lived, with the probability of a House dissolution in the next few months, the paper quoted analysts as saying.

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