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PM shrugs off replacement rumour

Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday described as "colourful" a rumour that the 111 former Thai Rak Thai executives who have almost completed a five-year ban from political office are not satisfied with her handling of the flood and want her replaced.
Ms Yingluck made the comment on arriving at the Flood Relief Operations Centre at the Energy Complex building of the Energy Ministry.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra looks at damaged houses on a visit to flood-ravaged communities in Bangkok on Nov 6, 2011. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)
She was responding to the rumour that members of the so-called "House No 111" want her to be replaced by either Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung or Justice Minister Pracha Promnok.

According to the rumour, the former TRT executives were afraid that Ms Yingluck's way of handling the flood crisis would erode the popularity of the governing Pheu Thai Party.

Bangkok senator Rosana Tositrakul, when asked to comment on this, said Ms Yingluck was not solely to blame. The entire administration had shown itself to be ineffective.

The five year ban ends early next year.

Government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng said Prime Minister Yingluck will explain to the international community about the flood in Thailand at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) and Asean Summit.

Ms Thitima said Ms Yingluck, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na Ranong and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, will attend the 19th Apec meeting on Nov 12-14 in Hawaii, the United States.

The premier will take this opportunity to explain to Apec member countries the current flood hitting Thailand and assure them the Thai government will take care of investors affected and to boost their confidence in Thailand's trade, investment and tourism potentials.

Ms Yingluck will do the same at the Asean Summit on Nov 17-19 in Bali, Indonesia, the spokeswoman said.

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