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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin Quashes Rumors of Kittiratt Na-Ranong’s Bid for Bank of Thailand Chairmanship

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recently addressed business representatives at Government House, where he emphasized a crucial clarification regarding his top adviser, Kittiratt Na-Ranong. The media had been abuzz with speculation that Kittiratt might be in the running for the coveted position at the helm of the Bank of Thailand (BoT), a role currently occupied by Porametee Vimolsiri until September 2025. However, Srettha promptly quashed these rumors, stating unequivocally that Kittiratt is ineligible to vie for the BoT chairmanship.

Delving into the intricacies of Thailand’s financial governance, Srettha explained that Kittiratt’s current role as chief adviser precludes him from even considering a bid for the BoT’s top seat unless he steps down for a minimum of one year. This revelation follows reports that Supawut Saichua, a former adviser to the ruling Pheu Thai Party, was also a potential candidate for the BoT chairmanship.

The stakes around these appointments are high. Should Kittiratt, with his close ties to the government, assume the BoT chairmanship, it could shift the central bank’s policies to align more closely with the government’s fiscal agenda, particularly in the realm of interest rate adjustments—a topic that has sparked notable tension between Srettha and current BoT governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput.

Governor Sethaput has remained steadfast in his commitment to the BoT’s independence. Despite Prime Minister Srettha’s appeals for interest rate cuts to jolt the economy, Sethaput has resisted, underlining the central bank’s non-partisan decision-making prerogatives. This divergence in their economic perspectives fuels ongoing speculation about who will eventually sit in the BoT’s chairman’s chair when the term of the current governor concludes next September.

Despite the chatter surrounding Kittiratt’s potential candidacy, Prime Minister Srettha has definitively ruled out such a possibility, reiterating that Kittiratt’s current advisory position renders him ineligible for the BoT role. The premier emphasized the importance of an uninterrupted and impartial selection process for the next chairman. “I have no idea who will fill the vacancy next year,” he disclosed, signaling the importance of maintaining procedural sanctity and neutrality in making this pivotal decision.

Riding the fine line of diplomatic discretion, the Prime Minister refrained from suggesting that the new BoT chairman should yield to the government’s fiscal policies. Instead, he showcased a collaborative approach—highlighting the smooth coordination with entities like the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, and the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council. Srettha affirmed that these organizations understand and align well with the government’s economic strategies.

While the Prime Minister reasserted his hope for a rate cut, he notably tempered his commentary to avoid controversy and allegations of meddling in the BoT’s autonomous operations. “One must tread carefully to avoid perceptions of interference,” Srettha remarked with a hint of prudence.

As Thailand’s economy sails through turbulent waters, the narrative here is one of political finesse and strategic navigation. Srettha’s comments reflect a delicate balance: maintaining the central bank’s independence while nudging towards policies that could potentially bolster economic growth. With a year left before the leadership roles at the BoT reshuffle, all eyes will be on how these financial heavyweights steer the nation’s economic vessel, a saga sure to keep stakeholders engaged and audiences enthralled.


  1. Alex P June 12, 2024

    I think it’s a smart move to keep political figures like Kittiratt out of key financial positions. Keeps the central bank independent!

    • economic_guru88 June 12, 2024

      But what if someone with a deep understanding of the government’s fiscal policies could harmonize both sides? It could be beneficial.

      • Sarah K. June 12, 2024

        It’s important to keep a separation of powers to ensure unbiased financial decisions. Conflict of interest can be a real issue.

      • Alex P June 12, 2024

        Exactly, Sarah. Independence is crucial to avoid missteps due to political pressure.

    • Mai L June 12, 2024

      What if the central bank becomes too detached from the realities of the economy? Collaboration can be good.

      • Alex P June 12, 2024

        It’s a fine line, Mai. Collaboration, yes, but not at the cost of independence.

  2. Chan V. June 12, 2024

    Srettha is just trying to avoid another controversy. This government’s meddling has already caused enough issues.

    • Nong P. June 12, 2024

      I don’t know if I’d call it meddling. They are trying to fix the economy amid significant challenges.

    • academic_thinker June 12, 2024

      The principle of central bank independence is there for a reason, even if it means short-term economic pain.

    • Chan V. June 12, 2024

      Fair point, but transparency about intentions is crucial. This feels like a diversion.

  3. Dmitry R. June 12, 2024

    Thailand needs strong policies, not political games. Srettha’s playing it safe is a sensible approach.

    • Linda W. June 12, 2024

      Agree, strong yet considerate policies. It’s a tricky path.

  4. Paul Sythe June 12, 2024

    Leadership at the BoT should be based on merit and experience, not political connections or advisory roles.

  5. Sophie June 12, 2024

    It’s frustrating to see economic decisions swayed by political agendas.

  6. bee_rider June 13, 2024

    Do you think Srettha is genuine about keeping the BoT independent, or is this just political posturing?

    • Liam D June 13, 2024

      Given how relieved he seemed to distance Kittiratt from the BoT role, it looks more like posturing to me.

    • camille78 June 13, 2024

      It’s hard to say. Politicians often have layered intentions.

    • bee_rider June 13, 2024

      True, actions will speak louder than words in the coming months.

  7. Joanna D. June 13, 2024

    So who do you think will actually become the next BoT chairman? That’s the real question.

    • soothsayer8 June 13, 2024

      Probably someone with a neutral stance to uphold the BoT’s independence while still being open to government collaboration.

  8. Gavin June 13, 2024

    Why is interest rate such a contentious issue? It’s economics, not politics!

    • Tammy K. June 13, 2024

      Interest rates deeply affect the economy. Political leaders often use them to gain favor or stabilize the economic environment.

    • Gavin June 13, 2024

      Makes sense, but shouldn’t those decisions from the BoT be based on data, not political will?

    • Tammy K. June 13, 2024

      Ideally, yes. But politics and economics are rarely separate in practice.

    • academic_thinker June 13, 2024

      Exactly. It’s a delicate balance.

  9. economicsmajor22 June 13, 2024

    Kittiratt stepping down for a year to become eligible seems like a loophole. Shouldn’t stricter rules apply?

  10. Student77 June 13, 2024

    I hope this doesn’t lead to more instability in the Thai economy. We need strong leadership without unnecessary drama.

  11. Luna W. June 13, 2024

    It’s commendable that Srettha is advocating for an independent selection process, but let’s see if it really happens.

  12. PolicyWonk June 13, 2024

    This article is a reminder of the importance of autonomous institutions in maintaining economic stability.

  13. Hari S. June 13, 2024

    The transparency of this process will be crucial. People believe less in political promises these days.

  14. BangkokBlues June 13, 2024

    BoT’s interaction with entities like the Thai Chamber of Commerce is interesting. Could this be setting the stage for more aligned policies?

    • Ollie June 13, 2024

      Maybe. Collaborative efforts usually signal positive intentions.

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