Pheu Thai Party urges caretaker government to halt civil servants relocation

Picture courtesy of ThaiPost

The Pheu Thai Party is calling for the caretaker government, under PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s leadership, to heed the national constitution by not relocating leading civil servants, particularly permanent secretaries, whilst the new administration is being formed. Phumtham Wechayachai, the party’s deputy leader, voiced these calls recently.

Phumtham issued a statement in which he admonished the transitional approach of Prayut’s government, reminding the leadership of their constitutional obligations. This includes the prohibition of approving any undertakings that could impose tied-over responsibilities on the inbound government and the relocation or appointment of high-ranking civil servants.

“The caretaker government could actually impede the incoming government’s execution of its policies.”

He cited even those who are on the verge of compulsory retirement as inappropriate for transfer on the grounds that the end of the fiscal year had not been reached.

The actualisation of new policies, presented to the public, is crucial for the new government from its very first day in office, according to Phumtham. He stressed the indispensable role of governmental officials, particularly in steering these policies, with a special focus on pressing economic issues affecting all business sectors that necessitate urgent attention, reported Bangkok Post.

It is the permanent secretaries across all ministries who will play the pivotal role in assisting the new government in getting off the ground, he pointed out.

“For the new government to promptly attain its objectives, it is crucial that you slightly delay the appointment of high-ranking civil servants and wait for the introduction of new policies by the incoming administration.”

Deputy government spokesperson, Tipanan Sirichana, was quick to provide a response to Phumtham’s concerns. She reassured the Pheu Thai Party that the caretaker administration is adhering to the constitution’s provisions related to the transfer and removal of state officials, those in state enterprises, or businesses where the government holds substantial shares, at the top of their priorities.

The selection of successors for retiring permanent secretaries lies in the hands of the cabinet, as proposed by the respective ministries before approval. The candidate’s name would then be forwarded to the Election Commission for its consideration, in accordance with the constitution, she explained.

Tipanan emphasised the caretaker government’s determination to avoid imposing any new burdens on the incoming administration.

The leader of the caretaker government, outgoing PM Prayut, gave his assurances about adhering to the appropriate timeline for transferring high-level officials. However, he claimed to have not seen the Pheu Thai Party’s statement concerning this issue.

Having encountered a setback in its effort to secure a parliamentary endorsement for Pita Limjaroenrat’s nomination for the prime minister post by the Move Forward Party, Pheu Thai is currently spearheading attempts to establish a coalition government.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.