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May 14, 2024

Thailand Cabinet Reshuffle and Its Implications

cabinet reshuffle thailand
— https://thailand.prd.go.th/en/content/category/detail/id/52/iid/283531
May 14, 2024


Following seven months of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's administration, Thailand witnessed its inaugural cabinet reshuffle last month. With a primary goal of better governance and policy implementation, the reshuffle took place on April 27 with the royal approval from His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The list of new cabinet was formally published in the Royal Thai Gazette dated April 27, 2024.
This significant change to the cabinet reflects both political dynamics and the Prime Minister's economic priorities. The announcement involved four ministers stepping down, six newcomers taking on ministerial roles, and changes to several ministerial portfolios of current Ministers.


Thailand cabinet shuffle
Photo Credit: Khaosod English

Key Appointments and Changes 

  • H.E. Srettha Thavisin steps down from the Minister of Finance position and remains as Prime Minister of Thailand.​

  • Deputy Prime Ministers:

    • H.E. Suriya Juangrungruangkit is appointed as Deputy Prime Minister, while remaining in his position as Minister of Transport.

    • H.E. Pichai Chunhavajira is appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

    • H.E. Somsak Thepsuthin steps down from the Deputy Prime Minister position and is appointed as Minister of Public Health.

    • H.E. Parnpree Bahiddha-nukara steps down from the Deputy Prime Minister position. 

  • Prime Minister’s Office: H.E. Jakkapong Saengmanee, H.E. Pichit Chuenban, and H.E. Jiraporn Sinthuprai are appointed as Ministers Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, replacing H.E. Puangpet Chunlaiad.

  • Ministry of Finance: H.E. Pichai Chunhavajira replaces H.E. Srettha Thavisin as Minister of Finance. H.E. Phaopoom Rojanasakul is appointed as Deputy Minister of Finance. After the reshuffle, H.E. Krisada Chinavicharana resigns from the Deputy Minister of Finance position, leaving H.E. Paopoom Rojanasakul and H.E. Julaphan Amornvivat as two remaining Deputy Ministers of Finance.

  • Ministry of Foreign AffairsH.E. Parnpree Bahiddha-nukara steps down from the Deputy Prime Minister position and, later on, resigns from Minister of Foreign Affairs position. H.E. Maris Sangiampongsa is appointed as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, succeeding H.E. Parnpree, effective on April 30. Following this transition, Vice Minister Sihasak Phuangkhetkeow announced his resignation.

  • Ministry of Transport: H.E. Suriya Juangrungruangkit remains as Minister of Transport and takes on the additional role of Deputy Prime Minister.

  • Ministry of Tourism and Sports: H.E. Sermsak Pongpanich transitions from Minister of Culture to Minister of Tourism and Sports.

  • Ministry of Culture: H.E. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol transitions from Minister of Tourism and Sports to Minister of Culture.

  • Ministry of Public Health: H.E. Somsak Thepsuthin replaces Dr.Cholnan Srikaew as Minister of Public Health.

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives: H.E. Attakorn Siriratyakorn replaces H.E. Chaiya Promma and H.E. Anucha Nakhasai as Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives.


Economic and Political Implications

On the economic front, the reshuffle reflects the administration’s concerted effort to advance its economic priorities. Prime Minister Srettha’s strategic appointment of H.E. Pichai Chunhavajira as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister highlights the administration’s renewed commitment to economic stability and growth. Deputy Prime Minister Pichai, with a background in finance and business, notably as the Former Chairman of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and Bangchak Corporation, as well as being a close advisor to Prime Minister Srettha, has proven his strong experience in this field. The addition of a deputy minister within the finance ministry, despite the presence of two deputy ministers prior, further strengthens Prime Minister Srettha’s plan to implement his robust economic strategies, including the long-anticipated digital wallet scheme and debt reduction policies.
The reassignment of ministerial portfolios, particularly the exchange between H.E. Sermsak Pongpanich, Minister of Culture, and H.E. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, Minister of Tourism and Sports, shows a shift away from traditional administrative practices. Generally, these roles have received minimal emphasis in past administrations. The reassignment, therefore, reflects Prime Minister Srettha’s heightened focus on Thailand's tourism sector, which serves as one of primary sources of economic revenue of the nation. This realignment further echoes his vision to position Thailand as a leading tourism hub and complements his ongoing tourism initiatives such as Ignite Tourism Thailand 2025 and broader Soft Power strategies.  

With the Pheu Thai Party now occupying a total of ten ministerial positions, including those attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, out of a total of 22 positions, this restructuring is seen to solidify Prime Minister Srettha's authority and to effectively champion the key initiatives of the ruling Pheu Thai Party. As the opposition Move Forward Party faces the possibility of dissolution and the remaining coalition partners expressing satisfaction with their portfolio allocations, the reshuffle appears to set the stage for political stability and policy continuation.

Nevertheless, the unexpected resignation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara was a surprise. His skillful management of foreign policy challenges, spanning from the close-to-home Myanmar situation to the global-scale crisis in Gaza involving Thai workers, has earned praises from the public. The foreign policy direction and implementation under the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Maris Sangiampongsa, remains to be seen, with expectations for continuity in addressing ongoing global challenges.

Additional Commentaries 

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