Thai PM says cabinet reshuffle to be unveiled around end of month

2008-07-15 07:11:42 GMT       2008-07-15 15:11:42 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BANGKOK, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said on Tuesday he will announce the Cabinet reshuffle list after July 28.

On July 28, the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions will decide whether to accept the lottery scandal case for consideration. The three ministers involved in the case are Finance Minister Surapong Suebwonglee, Labour Minister Uraiwan Thienthong and Deputy Transport Minister Anurak Jureemart.

"I have the names ready, just wait for the announcement," Samaksaid before attending the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Government House.

The digit lottery scheme was first launched in 2003 by former premier Thaksin Shinawatra administration to tackle the problem ofunderground lotteries. But the Council of State ruled in November 2006 that the scheme was unlawful as proceeds from its sales were misappropriated.

All the three ministers were then in the Thaksin Shinawatra cabinet.

On Sunday, Samak said that he planned to conduct a major cabinet reshuffle after three ministers, including Prime Minister's Office Minister Jakrapob Penkair, Public Health Minister Chaiya Sasomsup, Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama, have been forced to step down with different charges or convictions.

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