Party that nominated Thai princess for PM faces ban after king's rebuke

  • Party that nominated Thai princess for PM faces ban after king's rebuke

Party that nominated Thai princess for PM faces ban after king's rebuke

Thai Raksa Chart party leader Preechapol Pongpanich, holds up application of candidate for Prime Minister, Thailand's Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, at the election commission office in Bangkok, Thailand February 8, 2019.

King Vajiralongkorn denounced his sister's political plans as "inappropriate".

The royal family has a long-standing tradition of staying out of politics, and electoral law forbids parties from using the monarchy in campaigns.

Princess Ubolratana, who renounced all claims to her royal status when she married an American man in 1972, sensationally announced her plan to stand as a candidate in Thailand's upcoming general election yesterday.

Thai Raksa Chart is allied to divisive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a billionaire who was ousted from office by the army in 2006.

Princess Ubolratana has carried out "activities on behalf of the royal family", and continues to be regarded as "the beloved daughter of late King Bhumibol and a respected member of the royal family", added the royal statement, according to Bangkok Post.

Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932.

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.

The Election Commission has until Friday to rule on the princess's candidacy.

That ends a bold gambit by the anti-military coalition to boost its popularity and insulate itself against charges of being anti-monarchy, by having the king's flamboyant older sister Ubolratana run for prime minister, although her nomination can not be legally withdrawn.

Thai Raksa Chart, said it "complies with the royal command", and canceled a campaign event Saturday.

The Thai general election this year "had been broadly viewed as a straightforward battle between Thaksin's populists and their allies, on the one hand, and the royalist-military establishment on the other", according to CNA.

Coalition sources say they believed they had the king's acquiescence for his sister to run in the election.

She said she wanted to exercise her rights as an ordinary citizen by offering her candidacy for prime minister.

In an Instagram post this weekend she thanked Thais who had supported her but did not address the King's comments.

"I would like to say once again that I want to see Thailand moving forward, being admirable and acceptable by global countries, want to see all Thais have rights, a chance, good living, happiness to all", she said, ending her post with an "#ILoveYou" hashtag.

The election will be the first vote since current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha took power in 2014, overthrowing the democratic government and ousting former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the younger sister of Mr Thaksin.