“A man’s worth,” the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once said, “is no greater than his ambitions.” If this is true both for people and parties, then the Bhumjai Thai party’s value is high indeed.
Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Bhumjai Thai’s leader, recently made clear his grand ambitions for the party at a rally in Lopburi province. The party cannot refuse to lead the next government, Anutin declared, if they were to win 200 seats at the next general election due next year. At the very least, Anutin noted, the party was looking to double the number of ministries the party controls from three to six.
As for himself? “Shower us with a lot of votes. Don’t be shy,” Anutin exhorted, “I’ll be the prime minister if I must.”
A touch of reluctance, perhaps, but make no mistake: this is an ambitious party that knows its electoral worth. The question that remains is: is the party broadly correct in its aims, or is it overestimating its own appeal to voters?