In a major campaign rally in Buri Ram on Sunday, the Pheu Thai Party vowed that if elected with a landslide, it would transform this northeastern province by ridding it of all kinds of illegal drugs.
The rally at the Pheu Thai coordinating centre in Prakhon Chai district drew thousands of party supporters.
In his opening speech, party leader Dr Cholnan Srikaew thanked local residents for turning out in large numbers and exhorted them to vote for Pheu Thai candidates in all 10 of the province's constituencies.
In the 2019 election, the Bhumjaithai Party under Anutin Charnvirakul swept all eight House seats available in the province. In the 2023 election, there are ten seats up for grabs, two more than the previous poll.
Dr Cholnan said Buri Ram had long been dominated by other parties.
"So, I would like to stress that if we do not win with a landslide of more than 250 MPs, we will not be able to change Buri Ram. We need to pull the plug on the senators. We want to see Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha out," Dr Cholnan said.
Paetongtarn "Ung Ing" Shinawatra, 36, head of the "Pheu Thai family", said she was happy to see a larger number of supporters than expected.
She told the crowd she is now pregnant and did not want her child to grow up to see narcotic drugs everywhere, with cannabis making the situation worse. She did not directly mention the Bhumjaithai Party, the driving force behind the decriminalisation of cannabis last year.
"I don't want cannabis to be easily available," Ms Paetongtarn said.
She then unveiled Pheu Thai's policies to solve the narcotics problem: take serious legal action against drug producers and dealers; hold talks with neighbouring countries to destroy sources of drugs and establish free trade; and treat drug users as patients.
Nattawut Saikuar, director of the Pheu Thai family, reiterated the necessity for Pheu Thai to win with a landslide because if candidates from the current coalition parties were elected, Gen Prayut would stay on as prime minister.
With Pheu Thai winning a landslide, the party would nominate its own candidate for the prime minister's post. "We will be able to put our policies into practice only when we can form the core of the government with a landslide win," Mr Nattawut said.
Others present at the campaign rally included Panthongtae "Oak" Shinawatra, Ms Patongtarn's elder brother; Prasert Chantararungthong, the party secretary-general; Sutin Klangsaeng, a deputy party leader and Maha Sarakham MP; party member Adisorn Piangket; and Pheu Thai candidates to run in the 10 constituencies of Buri Ram province.
Buri Ram is the political stronghold of Bhumjaithai Party and Newin Chidchob, elder brother of Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who was recently suspended from his duties over alleged share concealment pending a Constitutional Court decision on the case.
The rally at the Pheu Thai coordinating centre in Prakhon Chai district of Buri Ram draws more than 10,000 supporters on Sunday. (Photo: Surachai Piragsa)