‘World’s Strongest Minister’ and PM Candidate Won’t Run for Office

Chadchart Sittipunt walks along a railtrack in Bangkok on Jan. 27, 2019.

BANGKOK — Former transport minister and subject of countless memes Chadchart Sittipunt confirmed Tuesday he won’t compete in the election as a parliamentary candidate despite being nominated for the premiership.

Explaining his absence from Pheu Thai Party’s list of contenders, Chadchart told reporters he believes himself unsuitable for the legislative branch. The 52-year-old was nominated last week as one of the party’s three prime minister candidates.

“I know myself, what I’m good at and what I’m not good at,” Chadchart said. “I know myself that I’m not good at everything. I can only play a role I’m good at.”

Pheu Thai sec-gen Phumtham Wechayachai also confirmed Chadchart won’t be running for an MP seat.

Chadchart, a former engineering lecturer, was appointed by the Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration to serve as a transport minister in 2012, a job he kept until Yingluck dissolved the parliament a year later. He never ran in any election.

He rose to fame after making abrupt inspection at various modes of transport, from a public bus to trains. Chadchart also proposed an ambitious project of constructing extensive high-speed rail lines and new train tracks across the country, though the court shot it down due to budget concerns.

But the well-built Chadchart was perhaps best known for being elevated to internet uber-meme in 2013 as the “World’s Strongest Minister” akin to the digital deification of Chuck Norris.

Speaking to reporters today, Chadchart said he left doors to political offices open, including the governorship of Bangkok.