By Panarat Thepgumpanat
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s new Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will take on the additional role of finance minister in his cabinet, senior officials from his Pheu Thai Party told Reuters on Friday.
The two officials declined to be identified because the discussions were not public. The Pheu Thai Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Srettha, 61, a real estate mogul who was thrust into politics only a few months ago, is expected to choose a cabinet from his 11-party alliance in the coming week after he was endorsed as premier by parliament on Tuesday.
A government source with knowledge of the matter also confirmed Srettha would serve as finance minister.
Srettha on Friday said the cabinet lineup would be finalised in a few days and that his Pheu Thai Party had already decided on who would take each of its ministerial portfolios.
Asked if it would be ready to start work by the end of September, he said he hoped it could happen sooner.
“We want to be fast because there are many urgent matters,” he said.
Pheu Thai, which was second on the May election, is leading the formation of a government after an earlier effort by the winners Move Forward collapsed due to heavy conservative resistance in parliament.
Pheu Thai’s oversight of finance and other ministries related to the economy were expected so that the party could deliver on election promises, like its signature 10,000 baht ($284.90) giveaway in digital currency and raising of the minimum wage.
Pheu Thai will have eight ministerial posts and nine deputy minister positions in the new cabinet, according to a coalition agreement.
($1 = 35.1000 baht)
(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Additional reporting by panui Wongcha-um; Writing by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty)