July 20, 2020 / 1:28 PM / 19 days ago

Thailand to interview candidates for cenbank chief on Tuesday

BANGKOK, July 20 (Reuters) - Interviews of candidates for Thailand’s next central bank governor will take place on Tuesday as originally planned, the head of the selection committee said, going back on an earlier decision to delay the process.

Rangson Sriworasat told Reuters the committee had decided to move ahead even though a new finance minister has yet to be appointed following the resignation of Uttama Savanayana on Thursday.

“The committee now wants the selection process to continue,” Rangson said.

The committee had said on Friday it would delay the interviews because some applicants might not have the required qualifications.

It will choose two from the six candidates, but Rangson did not say when that selection will be made. The next finance minister will be tasked with picking one of the two candidates as governor.

The governor appointment needs cabinet and royal approval.

The winning candidate will succeed Veerathai Santiprabhob, whose five-year term ends on Sept. 30, as Southeast Asia’s worst performing economy suffers from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to media reports, Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, a former World Bank economist and an economic advisor to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, is leading the race to be new governor.

Two deputy central bank governors had also applied. (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)

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