New Thai cabinet formally inaugurated

In Thailand, a cabinet has officially been formed more than three months after the May general election.

An inauguration ceremony for the cabinet was held on Tuesday. The country's new prime minister and the 33 ministers attended.

They took their oaths before King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is a former real estate tycoon.

His Pheu Thai Party holds the second-most lower house seats. It obtained some key cabinet posts.

Srettha made himself the finance minister. Sutin Klungsang is the minister of defense. But he does not have a military background. It is rare for a non-military figure to hold the position.
Meanwhile, the pro-military camp secured four posts. It will appoint the ministers of agriculture, energy and two other ministers. That will enable the camp to maintain a level of influence.

Srettha said, "I believe this is the time to hold together and give this cabinet a chance to start working on all issues, whether it's economic, social or political."

Srettha's coalition could face strong opposition from the public, as it includes the pro-military factions. The Pheu Thai Party had previously pledged that it would not form a coalition with them.

Stithorn Thananithichot, who works for King Prajadhipok's Institute, said the new government is likely to prioritize populist policies in order to deflect criticism.

He also said the Pheu Thai regime may implement policies, such as one aimed at creating a new digital cash scheme. The party obtained the post of finance minister, and the prime minister has taken the position.

A major question surrounding the new administration is how much political influence former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will have. Thaksin's eight-year prison sentence has been commuted to one year.