Predee Daochai, the Co-President of Kasikorn Bank and Chairman of the Thai Bankers Association, is tipped to be the next finance minister after the resignation of the Prayut government’s economics team following a leadership contest inside the ruling party.
Uttama Savanayana, the current finance minister and former deputy leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, confirmed to reporters on Wednesday that he and three other senior cabinet ministers will resign from their post to pave the way for a cabinet reshuffle.
Uttama also said that Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak will resign from his position as overseer of the economy.
It is understood by Thai Enquirer that the search for both Uttama and Somkid’s position has taken some time with many unwilling to take on the burden of turning around an economy that has suffered immensely under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sources inside the government have told Thai Enquirer that while Prayut and senior members of his cabinet have selected Predee Daochai to take over as Minister of Finance, the government is still having a difficult time finding a replacement for Somkid.
Predee has spent much of his career in the banking sector, specifically with Kasikorn Bank. The Thammasat and University of Illinois graduate has also worked with Prayut and his cabinet before, having been handpicked by the coup government in 2014 to serve in the rubber-stamp National Legislative Assembly.
If selected to be the Minister of Finance, Predee will have the unenviable task of trying to right an economy that has been tipped by the Bank of Thailand to contract by up to eight per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic.
He will also have to form quick relationships with Somkid’s successor, a new cabinet and a new Bank of Thailand Governor.
(Photo Credit: Kasikorn Bank)