Thai Election Commission will meet to consider princess PM candidacy
Thailand's Election Commission is to meet on Monday to consider the candidacy of Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, 67, who stunned the nation on Friday when she said she would be the prime ministerial candidate for a populist party loyal to ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
Meanwhile, the Thai political party that nominated the princess as its candidate for prime minister could be banned from a general election in March after an activist said on Sunday he would file a petition seeking its dissolution.
Thai party to obey royal order against princess PM candidacy
A Thai political party would obey a command from the king blocking the candidacy of the princess for prime minister, it said in a statement Saturday, in a dramatic reversal only a day after putting her forward for the position.
"Thai Raksa Chart party complies with the royal command," it said in a LINE message to reporters.
The statement added that the party is ready to do its duty with respect to the "tradition and royal customs" under Thailand's constitutional monarchy.
The announcement effectively invalidated the princess's unprecedented bid for prime minister in March elections and came after an extraordinary rebuke of her candidacy by her younger brother Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Thai Raksa Chart announced the princess as their candidate Friday morning. But the Thai king torpedoed the bid in a statement later the same day that said bringing senior royal family members into politics is against tradition, national culture and "highly inappropriate." The king did not criticize the princess directly.
The princess did not address the royal rebuke head-on Saturday morning when she thanked supporters on her widely followed the Instagram account and said vaguely that she wanted Thailand to "move forward."
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has not had a royal run for frontline office since 1932.
The princess's nominating party is an offshoot of the larger pro-Thaksin party and is seen as a back-up party in case the main party is disqualified.
It canceled a planned event on Saturday. The princess had not been scheduled to appear.