Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Party that nominated Thai princess for PM faces ban

Party that nominated Thai princess for PM faces ban

The political hopes of the princess were dashed nearly immediately when her younger brother, the king, issued a terse statement saying his sister's candidacy was "highly inappropriate" and went against tradition and national culture.

On Saturday, Paiboon said that although the princess has relinquished her royal title by law to become a commoner decades ago, she is still a royal family member by tradition, and members of the monarchy could not be involved in politics.

Prime Minister, army general Prayut Chan-o-cha, - who is preparing for the first elections since he took power in a 2014 military coup - dismissed the rumours as 'fake news'.

The commissioners voted to shoot down the nomination just three days after His Majesty the King barred Princess Ubolratana Mahidol, 68, from the race for the top government job on the grounds that royal family members can not get involved in politics.

Ubolratana Mahidol has filled many roles in her 67 years, from Thai princess and royal rebel to Californian mother, pop singer, film actress, charity worker and flamboyant social media celebrity.

A spokesman for Thai Raksa Chart said the party "graciously accepts" the King's reservations and will follow "the royal command with loyalty to the king and all members of the royal family".

The princess is running for the populist Thai Raksa Chart party, loyal to ousted ex-premiers Thaksin Shinawatra and Yingluck Shinawatra.

Shortly after the king's statement she posted again without addressing the issue directly, simply thanking Thais for their support and saying that she wanted Thailand to "move forward and become admired and accepted by the global community".

The general election had been viewed as a two-party contest between Mr Prayuth's royalist military government and the pro-Thaksin Thai Raksa Chart.

The nomination of the king's elder sister, who has starred in soap operas and an action movie and gave up her royal titles after marrying an American, was a shocking move by forces loyal to Thaksin, who face an uphill battle in the election.

Yesterday, an activist said he would file a petition to disqualify the Thai Raksa Chart party, which nominated the princess.

Srisuwan said his complaint to the Election Commission would ask it to recommend that a Constitutional Court dissolve the party.

Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup, lives in self-imposed exile after being convicted of corruption in absentia.

However, in a statement read on all Thai television stations within hours of her announcement as a candidate, King Vajiralongkorn said it was "inappropriate" and unconstitutional for members of the royal family to enter politics. The takeover resulted in the installation of a junta intent on eradicating the influence of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, whose allies have won every national election since 2001.

Like this: