Thai election panel disqualifies Princess Ubolratana as PM candidate
Thailand's Election Commission on Monday disqualified the sister of the king from running for prime minister on Monday, ending a stunning, short-lived candidacy for a populist party which King Maha Vajiralongkorn deemed as "inappropriate".
The commission released the official list of parties' candidates for prime minister without the name of Princess Ubolratana, 67, the older sister of the king.
Members of the royal family should be "above politics" and therefore cannot "hold any political office," the commission said in a statement, echoing the wording of a public statement from the king on Friday.
The princess had accepted the nomination of Thai Raksa Chart party, made up of supporters of ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
The Palace released a statement late Friday, saying "To bring a senior royal family member into the political system in any way is against royal traditions and the nation's culture... which is very inappropriate."
According to the Palace rules, Ubolratana has become a commoner since she was divested of royal titles following her marriage to an American in 1972, which is reconfirmed by Ubolratana on Friday.
She returned to Thailand in 2001 from the U.S. after her divorce and has since regularly taken part in charity, social welfare and health-promoting events as well as anti-drug campaigns for youths.
The general election for Thais to elect members of parliament will be held on March 24, the first since the 2014 coup during which the National Council for Peace and Order came into power.
A total of 500 elected members of parliament and 250 senators selected by the ruling National Council for Peace and Order will jointly vote to choose the new prime minister.