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Protesters reject the new ‘Thaksin’ cabinet

 
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September 26, 2008

Thailand Political Stalemate
Protesters reject the new ‘Thaksin’ cabinet

Thailand’s anti-government protesters on Thursday rejected the new Thai cabinet, saying it was stocked with cronies of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, and vowed to continue their campaign, AFP reported.

Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat unveiled his new line up on Wednesday of veteran politicians, academics and Thaksin allies, in an apparent bid to mend fences within his People Power Party (PPP).

"This cabinet is full of family members and nominees of Thaksin -- we demand that PPP must quit government," said Pibhob Dhongchai, a leader of the protest group which has been occupying the main government compound since late August.

"The cabinet is full of incompetent people," he told AFP.

 

The new premier was elected last week after his predecessor Samak Sundaravej was stripped of office by a court that found he had illegally accepted payments for hosting TV cooking shows.

Somchai ascended to the post after intense infighting within his own party.

Thai newspapers on Thursday questioned whether Somchai had chosen his cabinet to restore political stability -- or placate his foes.

The Thai-language Thairath daily newspaper said most cabinet members were old faces from within the PPP and their five coalition partners.

"Their competency, experience and suitability are second priority," it said in an editorial.

Thai journalist Anucha Charoenpo said in an analysis piece in the Bangkok Post the premier had failed to keep his promise to appoint the people best-qualified to solve the nation's political and financial problems.

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