15 Cabinet Members Resign, Paving Way For Seats in Senate

Junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha with the 15 ministers at Government House

BANGKOK — Fifteen members of the cabinet quit on Tuesday amid speculation that the junta will appoint them as senators.

Prime minister and junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, who selected nearly all of the incoming 250 senators, met with the resigning ministers during a lunch break to accept their resignation letters and took a group photo.

Among the 15 are five generals and one police general. Their resignations are set to be effective either tomorrow or Thursday May 9.

Junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha with the 15 ministers at Government House

Prayuth’s brother, Preecha Chan-ocha, also tendered his resignation as a member of the interim parliament on the same day.

The 15 cabinet members include Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya, PM Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen Surasak Karnjanarat, and Labor Minister Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew.

Others are Education Minister Teerakiat Jaroensettasin and his deputy, Gen Surachet Chaiwong, and Deputy Foreign Minister Veersak Futrakul. Social Development and Human Security Minister Gen Anantaporn Kanjanarat also resigned.

Some media reports have said that those close to the regime are slated to take new jobs in the next upper house – a claim that junta leaders declined to discuss earlier today.