11 July 2024

Newin Chidchob, a veteran politician and the unofficial patriarch of Bhumjaithai Party, pledged Tuesday to help Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to become prime minister after the next general elections.

Newin used his birthday celebrations in the northeastern province of Buriram to make known Bhumjaithai’s ambition to be a key player in Thailand’s future politics.

In a remark to key Bhumjaithai’s members and well-wishers, he said the party would win no fewer than 120 seats in the next general elections, putting it in a position to call the shots in forming the next government.

“As the khru yai (principal) of Bhumjaithai, I will do my best to help Anutin become the next prime minister,” Newin declared. “And if I fail, I will no longer play the role of khru yai.

Newin is often referred to as khru yai for his influence in Bhumjaithaithough he has no formal title in the party. Bhumjaithai is the second largest party in the ruling coalition and is expected to nominate Anutinas a candidate for prime minister in the next elections.

The prospects of Bhumjaithai becoming a key player in elections has drawn a large numbers of politicians defecting from rival parties.

Newin, 64, has been keeping a low political profile and has devoted most of his time to sport activities in Buriram where he runs the  Buriram United, a top-level football club.