Jockeying Starts for Posts in New Thai Govt

Yingluck Shinawatra, the leader of Pheu Thai Party, center, shows her delight as she arrives at a hotel for a meeting with leaders of the new coalition partners on Monday. Yingluck, sister of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, announced an agreement Monday to form a five-party coalition government. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

Bangkok. Thailand's Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra said on Tuesday it was too early to decide on her new cabinet as intense jockeying for posts started and investors expressed concern her populist policies would fuel inflation and see rates rise.

Yingluck's choice of ministers must also calm investor concerns of possible cronyism and pacify critics who fear a return of her divisive brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, after their Puea Thai Party won a landslide victory in Sunday's election.

"At this time there have been no consultations about the cabinet," Yingluck told reporters, adding the Election Commission had still to endorse the election results.

A cabinet dominated by pro-Thaksin ministers could weaken Yingluck's calls for reconciliation after six, often bloody, years of political crisis.

"Yingluck's most urgent and challenging task is to dispel the climate of mutual suspicion among differing political stripes," said the Nation newspaper columnist Avudh Panananda.

"How Yingluck chooses to fill defence, interior and justice portfolios will be a litmus test of her leadership."


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