Bangkok – Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat submitted his proposed cabinet lineup for royal approval Tuesday and expects to hold his first cabinet meeting as early as late this week.
Under Thailand’s constitutional monarchy the appointments are not official until approved by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is head of state. Somchai said he would not identify who is in his cabinet until they are approved.
After they are endorsed they can be sworn in and get to work, he said.
Somchai said there were 36 cabinet ministers in the lineup. He would not say if he planned also to serve as defence minister, as had former prime minister Samak Sundaravej who resigned earlier this month.
The opposition Democrat Party criticized him for taking so long to name his cabinet, and said the ministers could appear ‘uglier’ than those under Samak – who once alluded to his as an ‘ugly-duckling cabinet.’
‘In my view all 36 members of the new cabinet are all good-looking,’ Somchai countered. ‘Let’s give them an opportunity to work.’
Somchai added he would try and have his cabinet present a policy statement before Parliament by the end of this month.
Somchai, 61, was appointed last Thursday after Samak lost his post on September 9 when the constitution court found him guilty of illegal moonlighting by hosting television cooking shows.