Following elections, new cabinet sworn in

Members of the new cabinet of recently elected Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha took their oaths of office last week before His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun in a ceremony at the Dusit palace in Bangkok. The ministers and deputies were urged to do their best in working for the country and the people.

The Prime Minister and the cabinet immediately got down to work formulating the Thai government’s official policy positions, which they said would focus on reducing disparities in society. After finalizing those positions, the government will present its platform to parliament for vigorous democratic debate.

The new cabinet consists of representatives from the 19 parties that form the government coalition. The first order of business, the Prime Minister said, was to devise an efficient system of how to work together.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s party said the government would focus on bread-and-butter issues affecting people’s daily lives, and social inequalities. These are urgent priorities, he said. Disparities in wealth and opportunity have been at the root of political turbulence in Thailand, according to many political analysts.

In the longer term, the government intends to focus on policies to achieve sustainable development.

The government came to power in the first national elections held under Thailand’s new constitution. Some political parties and activists have criticized aspects of the charter and called to amend it.

Even some parties in the coalition government have said the constitution could be improved. Prime Minister Prayut said last week that he is open to amending the charter as part of ongoing national reforms.

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