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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big boss may override reshuffle

Big boss may override reshuffle

It is true that money and the bargaining power of political factions always influence the allocation of ministerial posts.

This is also bound to apply to the upcoming reshuffle of the Sundaravej government.

Minister Samak said he would reshuffle his Cabinet at the end of the
month after the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office
Holders rules on whether to accept the case concerning irregularities
in the two- and three-digit lotteries scheme, submitted by the Assets
Examination Committee on July 28.

If the case is accepted,
three ministers - Surapong Suebwonglee, Uraiwan Thienthong and Anurak
Jureemas - may have to be suspended. However, should this be the case,
the ministers plan to seek a Constitution Court ruling on whether they
have to be suspended.

The reshuffle could create some
chaos. No one wants to be ousted or shifted from their posts,
especially those ministers who are also leaders of factions.

Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who may move to the Justice or Public
Health posts, has tried to forge an alliance with Northeast MPs,
excluding Newin Chidchob's faction. Bangkok MP Sudarat Keyuraphan's
faction is another Chalerm target.

Chalerm has
reportedly told Samak that if he is removed from the Interior
portfolio, he will only accept the post of justice minister.

reportedly did not want to lose any of his four ministerial seats,
filled by Deputy Education Minister Pongsakorn Annopporn, Deputy
Agriculture Minister Theerachai Saenkaew, Deputy Transport Minister
Songsak Thongsri and Deputy Interior Minister Supon Fongngam.

eyes are on Samak, as he vowed he would reshuffle his Cabinet a second
time to improve the government's image. He said he would appoint
outsiders to some posts, regardless of faction quotas.

Does Samak have the power to do that?

fact, since Samak became prime minister the real power of the People
Power Party (PPP) and the government appears to be in the hands of "the
big boss", the real owner of the party.

Also, as long as
money still feeds party members, financiers and leaders of the factions
will continue to play a vital role in appointing Cabinet members.

Samak really cuts the quota from the financiers and the factions, who
will take care of party MPs?" a source from the PPP said.

said the parties had asked their ministers to allocate the
responsibility of overseeing party MPs in order to avoid a
concentration of MPs under any particular party.

The source said the big boss would be the one who has the final say in this reshuffle.

"At most, Samak can only float his idea through the media. Every decision will depend on the big boss," he said.

For these reasons, perhaps Samak will have to eat his words again.


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