Thai central bank chief rules out joining new Cabinet amid coronavirus pandemic

Thailand's outgoing central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob's five-year term ends in Sept 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's outgoing central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said on Saturday (July 18) that he would not join a new economic team as the prime minister looks for policymakers to steer South-east Asia's worst performing economy through the coronavirus crisis.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and two other ministers resigned on Thursday in a move that added uncertainty to Thailand's policymaking.

Local media had linked Mr Veerathai to an unspecified Cabinet position to shore up Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's economic team.

"Given media reports that I was approached to join a new economic team, I already thanked the prime minister for his trust (in me) and told him earlier in the week that would not be able to take any posts," Mr Veerathai said in a statement.

Mr Veerathai's five-year term as central bank governor ends in September and the bank is in the process of selecting the next governor.

Mr Prayut said on Friday that he had approached private bank executive Predee Daochai to join his Cabinet.

The Prime Minister also said he asked previous central bank governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul to join his Cabinet but Mr Prasarn declined the invitation.

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