Pop diva Nantida Kaewbuasai is set to become the first woman to head the Samut Prakan Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) after scoring a landslide victory at the polls.
Unofficial tallies show she won 341,504 votes in the PAO presidential election, more than four times as many as her nearest rival on 77,057.
Athough Nantida is better known as a singer, this is not the 60-year-old’s first foray into politics. After marrying Chonsawat Asavahame in 1994, she became an executive of Ratsadon Party – later known as the Mahachon Party.
Although the pop icon’s marriage to Chonsawat did not last, Nantida and Chonsawat have remained on good terms. Chonsawat, himself a former president of the Samut Prakan PAO, confirmed in October that his ex-wife would be contesting for his old post under the Progressing Samutprakarn Group banner.
Her ex-husband wasn’t the only one to endorse her election bid. She also won the backing of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, ensuring a close link with the government when she takes up her post as Samut Prakan PAO chief.
Born in 1960, Nantida moved from Nakhon Sawan to Bangkok with her parents when she was just seven months old. Raised by music-loving parents, Nantida was a regular at singing and dancing classes during her childhood.
Thanks to her Korean singing tutor, she became a multilingual vocalist, learning songs in Chinese, Japanese and English. At the age of 16, she entered and won her first national singing contest. She soon graduated to international competition, where her golden voice once again defeated all-comers.
A string of solo albums followed, along with starring roles in several Thai films and musicals. Her decades-long career in showbiz has also been showered with awards. And although her last solo concert was staged in 2017, she remains a shining star of the Thai music scene, recognised and cherished by millions.