BANGKOK Dec 16 Thai Prime Minister Prayuth
Chan-ocha has reshuffled his cabinet, a statement published in
the Royal Gazette said on Friday, the fourth change in his
administration since he took power in 2014.
Prayuth, a former army chief, seized control of government
following a bloodless May 2014 coup.
He said the coup was necessary to restore peace and
stability following months of anti-government protests that
eventually led to the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra and her civilian government.
Prayuth switched or appointed 12 ministers and deputy
ministers late on Friday, according to a list published in the
Royal Gazette. The highest-level changes were the country's
justice, education and industry ministers.
It was not immediately clear what impact the reshuffle would
Laws passed by the government generally come into force
after publication in the Royal Gazette, a public journal.
Thailand's new King, Maha Vajiralongkorn, who ascended the
throne on Dec. 1 following the death of his father, revered King
Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct. 13, appointed new members to his
royal council earlier this month.
The appointments included Minister of Justice Paiboon
Koomchaya who had to step down from the cabinet, making his
Prayuth last reshuffled his cabinet in August 2015 to focus
on Thailand's troubled economy, which has struggled amid weak
exports and domestic demand since the 2014 coup.
The junta has promised a general election in late 2017 to
return Thailand to democracy.
(Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre, Panarat Thepgumpanat and
Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing
by Larry King)