Home / International/ 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


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

Facebook

FILE PHOTO: 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 - REUTERS

BANGKOK (Reuters): The Thai political party that nominated a princess as its candidate for Prime Minister could be banned from a general election in March after an activist said 

yesterday he would file a petition seeking its dissolution.

Thailand’s Election Commission is to meet today 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. Her announcement drew a swift rebuke from King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the princess’s younger brother, who issued a statement hours later saying it was “inappropriate” for members of the royal family to enter politics.

The 24 March election is the first since a military coup in 2014 toppled an elected pro-Thaksin government. The current junta leader, Prayuth Chan-ocha, is also contesting the race for Prime Minister as the candidate of a pro-military party.

The nomination of the King’s elder sister, who has starred in soap operas and an action movie and gave up her royal titles after marrying an American, was a shocking move by forces loyal to Thaksin, who faces an uphill battle in the election.

The Election Commission has until Friday to rule on the princess’s candidacy. It is unlikely its members would disregard the wishes of the King, who while a constitutional monarch, is considered semi-divine in Thai society. On Sunday, an activist said he would file a petition to disqualify the Thai Raksa Chart party, which nominated the princess. “The royal announcement made it clear that the party violated electoral law,” Srisuwan Janya, Secretary-General of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, told Reuters. If the party is dissolved, it could give more seats to anti-Thaksin affiliated parties like the pro-junta, Phalang Pracharat and progressive Future Forward party, he said.

Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup, lives in self-imposed exile after being convicted of corruption in absentia.

He responded to the events on Twitter late on Saturday telling supporters to “keep moving forward” and “learn from past experiences but live for today and the future”.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Emerging signals of a US recession

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

US stocks plunge on fears of an economic downturn Last week’s turbulence in financial markets was a reaction to the fresh evidence of a possible recession in the US economy. The Dow Jones Industrials Average dropped a whopping 800 points or 3% last


The 1915 pogrom: Where were all the women?

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The 1915 anti-Muslim pogrom in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) is usually analysed through the lenses of ethnicity, religion, or class. Gender – and specifically women – appears to be absent in the narratives on this colonial-era conflict. Such absence i


The meaning of our slogans

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Sri Lankans undoubtedly are inclined towards slogans, and the time of elections is the high season. They appear everywhere; on walls, bus stands, huge boulders, vehicles and even on the garments worn by the campaigners. Usually we are given somewhat


“Doing something” about social media?

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Since the tragic terrorist incidents and pogroms of April and May, concerns about social media have been reverberating throughout our society. We are under pressure to “do something,” even without fully understanding the problems we seek to solve


Columnists More

Special Report

SPECIAL REPORT MORE