Thailand election panel disqualifies princess

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 11, 2019 - Duration: 01:25s

Thailand election panel disqualifies princess

Thailand's election panel has disqualified the sister of the king from running for prime minister, putting an end to a stunning, short-lived candidacy by echoing King Maha Vajiralongkorn's words that royalty should be "above politics".

Ed Giles reports.


Thailand election panel disqualifies princess

A Thai princess who said she was running for office has been disqualified by the country's electoral commission.

Princess Ubolratana, who is the sister of the country's king, had her short-lived candidacy effectively thrown out on Monday (February 11) when a list of official candidates was released without her name on it.

With the commission saying in a statement members of the royal family were quote "above politics" and therefore can't hold office.

On Friday (February 8), the 67-year old princess said she'd be the sole candidate for a populist political party And the same day, Thailand's King said his sister's candidacy was inappropriate and unconstitutional.

Ubolratana's nomination for the Thai Raksa Chart party broke with a long-standing tradition of the royal family staying out of politics.

Thai Raksa Chart is one of several parities that support former Thai leader, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin was ousted in a coup in 2006 and lives in self-imposed exile after being convicted in absentia on corruption charges.

But pro-Thaksin political parties are still popular and have performed well in other Thai elections.

Princess Ubolratana gave up her royal title in the 1970s after she married an American.

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy but the royal family wields great influence and commands the devotion of millions across the country.

The election on March 24 will be the first since Thailand's 2014 military coup.

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