‘Royal command’ scuttles Thai princess’ bid for PM
BANGKOK: A new Thai political party vowed Saturday to obey a command from the king blocking the candidacy of a princess for prime minister in a dramatic reversal that appeared to boost the junta’s chances ahead of March elections.
BANGKOK: A new Thai political party vowed on Saturday to obey a command from the country’s king blocking the candidacy of a princess for prime minister in a dramatic reversal that appeared to boost the junta’s chances ahead of the March elections.
The shock announcement effectively blocks Thai Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya’s unprecedented bid for the premiership and comes a day after an extraordinary rebuke of the candidacy by her younger brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
The Thai Raksa Chart party, which is affiliated with the powerful Thaksin Shinawatra political clan, announced the princess as their surprise candidate on Friday morning.
The move looked to rattle the status quo and threaten the ambitions of the junta that has ruled Thailand since it toppled the administration of Yingluck Shinawatra in a 2014 coup.
But the Thai king torpedoed the bid in a sharply worded statement the same day that said bringing senior royal family members into politics is against tradition, national culture and “highly inappropriate”.
Thai Raksa Chart party responded swiftly, cancelling a campaign event on Saturday and issuing a statement saying it would respect “tradition and royal customs”.
“Thai Raksa Chart party complies with the royal command,” the statement said.
Thailand has some of the strictest laws in the world and the king’s decision is always considered final.
Thai Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya