Mon, Oct 09, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Thailand's post-coup Cabinet soon to be made public


Thailand's new interim prime minister has submitted his post-coup Cabinet lineup to King Bhumibol Adulyadej and expects to unveil it to the public immediately following a royal endorsement, a spokesman said yesterday.

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, who was appointed by the military after the Sept. 19 coup that ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, submitted his Cabinet selections to the palace office on Friday, said government spokesman Yongyuth Maiyalarb.

"We're waiting for His Majesty to endorse the Cabinet list," Yongyuth said, adding it was unclear precisely when the approval would come, but that it was expected soon.

"It may be today or tomorrow," he said.

Following the king's approval, Surayud was expected to announce the lineup "immediately," Yongyuth said.

Surayud is expected to oversee the interim government until a new constitution is enacted and an election is held in October next year.

The military council installed Surayud as prime minister on Oct. 1, and he pledged to have his government in place in about a week. He appeared intent on keeping his promise amid mounting criticism of the coup from the international community.

The lineup is expected to include respected technocrats and political figures with clean backgrounds.

Last week, some key positions appeared to have been filled.

Thailand's central bank chief, Pridiyathorn Devakula, said on Saturday that he was slated to become finance minister and serve as a deputy prime minister for economic matters.

Pridiyathorn, a well-respected economist who helped steer Thailand's economy out of the devastating 1997 Asian financial crisis, is among half a dozen prominent people who have already said they have agreed to join Surayud's Cabinet.

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