The Dubai meeting over the weekend had no linkage to the formation of a Cabinet, designate prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday, dismissing speculation about the involvement of her brother Thaksin Shinawatra in allocating Cabinet seats.
“I think the meeting was personal,” she said in reference to the talks between Thaksin and Chart Thai Pattana chief adviser Banharn Silapa-archa.
A large group of allies, including Banharn, Yaowapha Wongsawat and her husband Somchai, paid a private visit to Dubai, which many saw as a bid to seek Thaksin’s blessing on the ministerial quotas.
Banharn’s trip coincided with reports about Pheu Thai’s opposition to allocating two key portolios, Agriculture and Tourism, to his party.
But Yingluck insisted she would form her Cabinet in Bangkok and that she had not finalised her decision on the matter.
“As far as I know Banharn is being barred from meddling in politics,” she said.
She said the Cabinet line-up should complete within one to two weeks after the endorsement of MPs-elect by the Election Commission, which is scheduled to begin tomorrow.
She reiterated her earlier remarks that she would pick qualified individuals from inside and outside her party.
In regard to her tentative meeting with chief royal adviser General Prem Tinsulanonda, she said she was willing to meet with all leading figures if the opportunity presents itself after the issuing of the royal command on her appointment as prime minister.
Reacting to Thaksin’s remarks that her government should bring about reconciliation within two years, she said the reconciliation process should hinge on its completion by the Truth for Reconciliation Commission led by Kanit Na Nakorn.
She pledged her government’s full cooperation with the commission to complete its job.
She said her priority at this juncture was to complete drafting her government’s policy statement. Under the Constitution, the incoming government must seek and receive parliamentary approval of its policy statement before assuming office.
Pheu Thai MP-elect Snoh Thienthong said the policy draft was progressing satisfactorily with the translating of campaign platforms into government action plans.
In a related development, Chart Thai Pattana MP-elect Sanan Kachornprasart said he had no involvement in the allocation of Cabinet seats. Sanan said his party had designated its leader Chumpol Silapa-archa to negotiate the ministerial quotas.
Sanan made his remarks in the face of intense horse-trading negotiations among coalition partners.
He said he was taking a rest to regain his strength after a long campaign trail, dismissing rumours that he was lobbying for a vice ministerial portfolio for his son Siriwat.