Bhumjaithai shortlists 200 MP candidates

Bhumjaithai shortlists 200 MP candidates

Countdown to polls has begun, says Anutin

Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul, centre, party MPs and guests attend the party's 14th anniversary at its head office in Bangkok's Chatuchak district on Wednesday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul, centre, party MPs and guests attend the party's 14th anniversary at its head office in Bangkok's Chatuchak district on Wednesday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The Bhumjaithai Party has shortlisted more than 200 potential MP candidates for the next general election and plans to be represented in all constituencies, party leader Anutin Charnvirakul said on Wednesday.

The details were announced at the party's 14th anniversary celebration, also attended by representatives of other major political parties. 

Mr Anutin said the party had started the countdown to the elections due in 11 months if the government survives until then.

The government's tenure will expire on March 24 next year. Two major hurdles are in the way - a no-confidence debate tentatively set for late next month and a legal challenge over the expiry of Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha's term as prime minister in the second half of the year. 

On Wednesday, Mr Anutin said Bhumjaithai intends to field candidates in all 400 constituencies nationwide and to also name 100 party-list candidates. 

So far, the party had picked more than 200 potential constituency candidates. Bhumjaithai also planned to stand candidates in Bangkok, which is not among its traditional strongholds. 

Mr Anutin has asked the party's potential candidates and members to monitor the political situation on the ground in each constituency and report back to the party.

This will help party executives prepare for the polls and get necessary assistance to  candidates in the constituencies, he said. 

Bhumjaithai secretary-general Saksayam Chidchob, who is also transport minister, said the party was well-positioned for the general election and confirmed it has potential candidates lined up already. 

Mr Anutin also kicked off the party's online candidacy registration system. He was the first to try it, applying to be a Bhumjaithai electoral candidate.

Mr Anutin reaffirmed the party's stand as a defender of the crown. "Our resolve is as strong as it has ever been in standing against anyone who offends the monarchy," he said. 

The party pledged to focus on policies to improve people's livelihoods, curb state authority and empower the people. 

Bhumjaithai, with 61 MPs, had gained enough political strength to push through with and ensure the campaign policies it promised in the elections three years ago materialised, he said.

Mr Anutin said Bhumjaithai's achievements during its time in the government would reassure people it has what it takes to deliver on its promises.   

Among Bhumjaithai's best-known election manifestos was the delisting of cannabis as an illicit plant.

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