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Pattaya Daily News

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30 December 2009 :: 07:12:25 am 3578

Thailand’s Public Health Minister Resigns

The Thai Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai has resigned taking responsibility for the mismanagement of various ministry projects. PM Abhisit announced a possible cabinet reshuffle.
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Bangkok, the 29th of December 2009 [TNA]: Thailand‘s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday said that a minor Cabinet reshuffle is expected after the New Year in the wake of the resignation of Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai in taking responsibility for mismanagement of ministry projects.

Public Health Minister Witthaya announced his resignation Tuesday to take responsibility for ‘management flaws’ after the government-appointed committee investigating alleged corruption in the ministry’s Bt86 billion procurement projects under the Thai Khemkhaeng (Strong Thailand) stimulus package.

The premier said that Deputy Prime Minister Sanan Kajornprasart will temporarily oversee the public health ministry.

Mr Abhisit said Democrat Party leaders will meet to select a replacement for Mr Witthaya on either next Tuesday or Wednesday. January 5 or 6, followed by a minor Cabinet reshuffle to be forwarded for royal endorsement by the end of the first week of January.

The reshuffle also includes Korbsak Sabhavasu, deputy prime minister in charge of economic affairs, replacing Niphon Prompan, secretary to the prime minister, who resigned in early October.

Mr Korbsak will be replaced by Trairong Suwankiri, a senior MP of the ruling Democrat Party.

The prime minister said that the nine strict rules he had announced when taking office on how his ministers should conduct themselves remain in effect, noting that Mr Witthaya has accepted responsibility in the matter, and that Deputy Public Health Minister Manit Nop-amornbodi will hold a news conference on Wednesday regarding his stance.

“What Mr Witthaya said today is in line with the measures, with what people called “strict rules,” Mr Abhisit said. “The resignation is to show the innocence of the accused to let the investigation move on.”

“As listened to the news conference of Mr Witthaya, I understand that the budget has yet been spent and Mr Witthaya himself was the one who proposed that the investigation on the projects should be conducted,” said the premier.

Mr Abhisit said he has instructed every minister to look through the projects in their ministries because even they acknowledge or not, they could not avoid the responsibility.

In case of Mr Witthaya, the premier said, the probe panel did not indicate that he is guilty for corruption but suggested that he could not deny his responsibility.

Mr Abhisit added that every ministry should consider cancellation of projects which do not respond to the need of people, or review the budget if it is too high.

The premier earlier vowed when he took office in his speech on how his ministers should conduct themselves that any politician involved in the corruption should face action under the nine strict rules. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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