Anutin launches bid to become Thailand’s next PM in Lopburi
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Sunday begged Lop Buri voters for their support, as he launched his bid to become Thailand’s next prime minister.
Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin, who doubles as deputy prime minister, was speaking at a party rally to announce its Lopburi MP candidates in Khok Samrong district.
About 5,000 locals attended the rally, which was also joined by Bhumjaithai secretary-general and Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.
Anuthin introduced the party’s four candidates as Mallikar Jiraphanwanit (Constituency 2), Narin Klungpha (Constituency 3), Kiart Luangkhachornwit (Constituency 4) and Prathuan Sutthi-amnuaydej (Constituency 1). Prathuan and Kiart are incumbent Bhumjaithai MPs for Lopburi.
Bhumjaithai announced in April it would nominate Anutin as its PM candidate for the next election, which must be called by March next year.
Anutin said on Sunday that if voters elected enough Bhumjaithai candidates, he would be willing to run the country as prime minister.
He added the party was seeking to double the number of ministries it controls after the next election.
“Bhumjaithai has three ministries in this current administration. We want six ministries in the next election. Give us lots of votes. Don’t worry about handing us this burden. If I have to become the prime minister, so be it,” Anutin said.
He also highlighted the party’s success in implementing its campaign promises, including decriminalisation of cannabis and raising the allowance for public health volunteers from 1,000 to 1,500 baht.
Anutin said that if Bhumjaithai is elected to government again, it would push for a three-year debt moratorium to help poor households recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
It would also seek funding of 300-500 million baht for each province to develop tourism. The development funds would generate about 5 trillion baht for the country’s economy, he added.
“Politically, we always keep our word. We’ll find a way to implement our promised policies,” Anutin told the rally.
Apart from the decriminalisation of marijuana, the Bhumjaithai-controlled Health Ministry has made it easier for people to switch public hospitals and brought in free kidney dialysis and free cancer treatment.
Anutin said his party had also eased access to student loans and pushed for construction of a bridge linking the mainland to the tourist island of Koh Lanta.
“Our party will not create conflicts but will aim at forging unity among the people,” he added.