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Leader of Puea Pandin pulls out of the coalition gov't
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    Leader of Puea Pandin pulls out of the coalition gov't

    Puea Pandin pulls out of the coalition gov't
    By The Nation

    Puea Pandin Party leader Suwit Khunkitti on Tuesday announced his decision to pull out of the government after Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej confirmed he would on Wednesday reshuffle the Cabinet.

    Suwit cited his party's concern over the Preah Vihear Temple as reason to abandon the coalition alliance. Speculation spreaded, however, that Samak might remove Suwit from the Cabinet line-up.

    Regardless of the shift in the coalition alliance, Samak said the new Cabinet line-up will be submitted for royal endorsement.

    He refused to state the extent of the reshuffle although he earlier said changes might involve more than 10 positions.

    (Puea Pandin Party has 24 MPs)

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    Re: Puea Pandin pulls out of the coalition gov't

    Suwit departs but his Puea Pandin Party stays: Mun
    By The Nation

    Information and Communications Technology Minister Mun Patanotai said on Wednesday that 20 of 24 MPs from Puea Pandin Party decided to remain in the coalition alliance even though party leader Suwit Khunkitti pulled out.

    For portfolios under its quotas, the party will nominate a successor to Deputy Finance Minister Ranongrak Suwanchawee who resigned, Mun said.

    Suwit's position as industry minister might be switched to one of the coalition parties, he said.

    Deputy Interior Minister Sithichai Kowsurat will be replaced by a newcomer nominated by Puea Pandin, he said.

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    Re: Leader of Puea Pandin pulls out of the coalition gov't

    CABINET RESHUFFLE

    Puea Pandin ditches Suvit, stays in govt

    BANGKOK POST REPORTERS



    The cabinet reshuffle will see the Puea Pandin remain part of the new line-up, despite the departure of its leader Suvit Khunkitti, who failed to convince most other party members to follow suit and leave the government with him.

    Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said the departure of the Puea Pandin leader had no effect on the reshuffle list.

    Mr Suvit, a deputy prime minister, decided to quit on Tuesday after Mr Samak demanded the industry minister's portfolio, which he also held.

    Mun Patanotai of Puea Pandin confirmed yesterday that 20 of 24 party MPs would stay with the coalition and he would remain as ICT minister.

    He said Mr Suvit's announcement on Tuesday evening he was pulling Puea Pandin out of the coalition was a ''personal remark''. The party would keep its four seats in the cabinet, but swap the Industry Ministry seat for a deputy commerce minister's position held by the PPP, Mr Mun said.

    Suradet Yasawat, chairman of the Puea Pandin MPs, said Mr Suvit's announcement was not a party resolution. Most Puea Pandin MPs would elect a new executive board and party MP and chief adviser Pol Gen Pracha Promnok would likely replace Mr Suvit as the party leader.

    A northeastern faction within the People Power party (PPP) has been left disgruntled over the cabinet reshuffle, with the list about to be finalised by Mr Samak.

    Yesterday, eight northeastern PPP MPs went to Government House to protest to Mr Samak over his choice of Somsak Kiatsuranont instead of Preecha Rengsomboonsuk joining the new cabinet.

    Mr Somsak is tipped to be new social development and human security minister to replace Chawarat Charnveerakul.

    MP for Nakhon Phanom Paichit Sriworakhan said his Isan Pattana faction claimed that around 30 MPs had agreed that Mr Preecha should represent them in the cabinet, not Mr Somsak.

    Besides the protest to the prime minister, Mr Preecha, a PPP MP for Loei, slammed his party colleague, Mr Somsak, for betraying him and his faction.

    ''He promised the Isan Pattana faction that I would be nominated. Why did he accept the nomination himself?'' Mr Preecha, a nine-time MP, said, adding that he wondered why a representative with less experience could be a minister.

    Mr Somsak, who resigned as a deputy House speaker on Tuesday, denied that he had lobbied for a cabinet post.

    As of yesterday, Mingkwan Sangsuwan was expected to be moved from the top job at the Commerce Ministry to the Industry Ministry, Pol Gen Kowit Watana replace Mr Chalerm as interior minister and Mr Chawarat become new health minister replacing Chaiya Sasomsab, who will be a deputy commerce minister.

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