Thai PM Prayut named defense minister in new cabinet

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn endorsed on Wednesday a new civilian cabinet of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha following a March 24 election. The endorsement was announced in the Royal Gazette.


Prayut Chan-o-cha arrives for the royal endorsement ceremony appointing him as Thailand's new prime minister at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, June 11, 2019. (File Photo: VCG)

Prayut was elected prime minister in a joint house-senate meeting last month. He was named defense minister in the cabinet. The new finance minister is Uttama Savanayana, leader of the Palang Pracharath Party.

Uttama held the industry portfolio in the military government and before that held various positions in the private sector. 

Prayut's loyalists from the military government including Prawit Wongsuwan, Somkid Jatusripitak and Wissanu Krea-ngam remain deputy prime ministers. Anupong Paochinda retains his post as interior minister.

But Prayut shared out some important economic portfolios with other political parties in his coalition government made up of 19 parties. The Democrat Party took the agriculture and commerce ministries, while the Bhumjaithai Party took the health, transport and tourism portfolios.

Prayut became Thailand's head of government in 2014 following a prolonged political crisis. 
He is heading a meager majority government under a 19-party coalition led by the Palang Pracharath Party after the general election in March. 

(With input from agencies)