Thai PM Announces Controversial Cabinet

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2008 10:12 AM CST
Thai civil servants stationed at Government House participate in a merit making ceremony.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Thailand's prime minister unveiled his new cabinet today, including a supporter of last month's airport blockade in a lineup that cast doubt on the government's ability to unite the divided nation, the AP reports. The announcement came after King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the country's revered monarch, endorsed Abhisit Vejjajiva, whom lawmakers voted in as prime minister on Dec. 15. The cabinet will be sworn in Monday.

The selection that drew the most criticism was Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, a career diplomat who was a prominent supporter of protesters who occupied the prime minister's office compound for three months and then blockaded Bangkok's two airports in late November. He is a Georgetown University graduate and former ambassador to the US, Japan, Germany, Indonesia and the former Soviet Union. (Read more Thailand stories.)