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Prayut congratulates new PM on his election

Thai PM Chan-o-cha
PHOTO: Thai PM Chan-o-cha - Bangkok Post

A peaceful transition of government is underway after the caretake PM spoke yesterday about the successful vote for a new PM in parliament on Tuesday.

Prayut Chan-o-cha, Thailand’s outgoing prime minister, congratulated his successor, Srettha Thavisin of the Pheu Thai Party. Having received royal endorsement last night, August 23, Srettha officially becomes the kingdom’s 30th prime minister.

His election brings to an end 100 days of political wrangling and constitutional nit-picking since the May 14 general election. Move Forward Party won the highest number of MP seats in the new parliament, but their ambitious plans, including reform of the lèse-majesté law (which prohibits criticism of the monarchy) proved too much for conservative politicians and senators.

As a result, MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat, who needed the votes of the old guard, failed in his bid to become the next PM. Pheu Thai, the party that came second in the election, stepped into the breach, forming an 11-party coalition, while Move Forward moved to the opposition benches along with the Democrats and a few minor parties and independent MPs.

Following Cabinet’s weekly meeting yesterday, outgoing PM Prayut gave a speech in which he congratulated Srettha. Prayut added that the current cabinet will officially end its duties once the new administration receives royal endorsement and is sworn in.

“Forming a new Cabinet will not take long, so please be patient.”

The outgoing PM went on to say there’s nothing to pass on to the new government, as any outstanding work is being taken care of by the relevant government agencies. He added that it’s up to the new administration whether or not it will carry on with any pending projects left behind by the outgoing government.

He would not be drawn on the role of outgoing health minister Anutin Charnvirakul in the new Pheu Thai-led coalition. Anutin is leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, formerly political foes of Pheu Thai.

Prayut also dismissed suggestions that there has been a falling out between him and outgoing Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon. Prawit is leader of the Palang Pracharath Party, another pro-junta, former political enemy of Pheu Thai’s, but now part of the newly-formed coalition.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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