Thai Raksa Chart party suspends Princess Ubolratana's campaign

Thai princess to run for PM -- against junta chief

Ubolratana Mahidol, the oldest child of the late King Bhumibol, was nominated by the Thai Raksa Chart Party, which is aligned with the country's exiled former leader, Thaksin Shinawatra.

As I have observed before in these pages, common references to Thailand as a democracy and a focus on contemporary developments including the May 2014 coup that brought the junta-led government under Prayut Chan-o-cha to power and the March 2019 expected election date can obscure more complex realities in the country's politics.

In a written statement, Vajiralongkorn said Princess Ubolratana is "highly respected by all the royal family members" but that the monarchy in Thailand should remain above politics.

"The princess is not covered by the lese-majeste law, but of course if people start to criticize her, it may be deemed to be a criticism of the Thai king as she is his sister, so I would not be surprised to see rival candidates back down", said Thitinan of Chulalongkorn University.

Ms Ubolratana gave up her royal titles when she married an American decades ago, but they divorced and she moved back to Thailand.

Analysts say the king's intervention is likely to lead to the election commission disqualifying her from the 24 March election.

It also potentially bridges the political divide between the "Red" shirted loyalists to Thaksin and the "Yellow" shirted royalist supporters, whose violent clashes have scarred Thailand's recent history.

Princess Ubolratana is known for her "To be Number One" philanthropy campaign, which aims to help young people stay away from drugs, as well as starring in several soap operas and movies.

"I have accepted the Thai Raksa Chart party nomination for prime minister to show my rights and freedom without any privileges above other fellow Thai citizens under the constitution".

It was not only a shock that the princess was formally entering politics, but also that she was doing so in alliance with a Thaksin-backed party.

Thailand's chaotic politics took two astonishing turns Friday when the sister of the king made a historic bid to become prime minister, only to have him shut down her effort as "inappropriate" because it violated tradition and the constitution, both of which keep the monarchy from getting involved in politics.

The Thai Raksa Chart opposition party said in a statement on Saturday that it would comply with the king's order invalidating Princess Ubolratana's candidacy for prime minister.

The King's intervention has cast Thaksin's future role in politics into doubt.

The Thai Raksa Chart party, affiliated with the powerful Shinawatra political clan, announced the princess as their candidate on Friday morning.

"Thai Raksa Chart is a leading contender now".

Ubolratana's candidacy had electrified the build-up to the election, which has long seemed poised to return the ruling junta and its proxies to power.

Ubolratana, a mathematics and biochemistry graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has a reputation for being more accessible to commoners than the rest of the royal family. In terms of the outcome, while Prayut was seen as being the likely victor by far in upcoming polls, the most likely scenario now is a unity, royal-led government with Ubolratana at the helm, with Thaksin's influence at play and some role for Prayut-linked forces as well.

The nomination pits the princess against current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the preferred candidate of the military, considered one of Thailand's most royalist institutions.

Friday was the last day for parties to declare candidates.

FILE PHOTO: Thai Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya poses during a news conference at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 15, 2008.

Ubolratana, the eldest child of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was born in Switzerland in 1951.

"Even though she relinquished her title according to royal laws. she still retains her status and position as a member of the Chakri dynasty", the king's order said. She is referred to as "Tunkramom Ying", which means "Daughter to the Queen Regent", and is treated by officials as a member of the royal family.

Related News:



Most liked

British actor Albert Finney dies at 82
At the time, The Guide to British Cinema said Finney exuded "a mixture of defiance and selfishness overlaid with a raw sexuality". BAFTA said it was "deeply saddened" to hear of his passing. "And it also helps keep us 'quaint, ' which I'm not a great fan of".

Owner: Grizzlies will retire Marc Gasol’s jersey in future
That, however, didn't stop him from connecting with Gasol after he was traded for Jonas Valanciunas , C.J. The Grizzlies have been open to trading Gasol and star guard Mike Conley for a few weeks now.

Frozen feline thawed after she was found in a snowbank
Veterinarians used towels, warm water, and hairdryers to thaw Fluffy out, and within an hour she was back to her normal self. A cat that appeared to be frozen solid somehow recovered after being treated at a Montana animal clinic.

Tonight's UFC 234 Main Event Scrapped, Former Champion Elevated Into Headline Fight
In a later statement, UFC said Whittaker had undergone emergency surgery due to a "severe abdominal injury". UFC 234 has been plunged into turmoil by Robert Whittaker's injury exit on Saturday night.

A New Team Is Reportedly Making A Run At Bryce Harper
There have surely been discussions of other terms since then, but they have not floated out from behind closed doors. In the grand scheme of things, San Francisco seems like a destination that would be a ideal fit for Harper.

Unai Emery admits Arsenal are underdogs for Premier League top four
And we need to be calm and also very demanding of ourselves in our minds for work and to be consistent over 38 matches. Similarly, Ainsley Maitland-Niles missed out on Sunday with a knee injury but could be available this weekend.

Whitaker Agrees to Testify at House Hearing Friday
According to CNN, former Trump associate Roger Stone was "one of the last key campaign associates" to be investigated. Jerry Nadler , D-N.Y., the chairman of the committee, of the committee's rules. "Mr.

Taliban 'not seeking to seize all of Afghanistan'
Joseph Votel said Pak should play constructive role in achieving peace in Afghanistan and South Asia. The negotiations in Moscow follow recent talks between the USA and the Taliban in Qatar.

Frank Robinson, MVP, first black manager, dies at 83
He was the manager for the Montreal Expos when the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C. and became the Nationals in 2005. The Reds, Orioles and Indians each have retired Robinson's No. 20 and saluted him with statues at their ballparks.

Star Sports Live Streaming India vs New Zealand First T20I
Seifert slammed six sixes and seven fours in his audacious knock which included a switch-hit boundary off Krunal Pandya's left-arm spin.

LeBron James Sounds Off On Instagram After Harrison Barnes Traded Mid-Game
But the fact the Mavericks were playing a game against the Charlotte Hornets when Barnes found out made it a bit. well, awkward. Davis last week demanded a trade, but the New Orleans Pelicans reportedly are refusing to play ball and not comply .

Boy band BTS to attend 2019 Grammy Awards as presenter
The lovely and talented Alicia Keys will host the iconic award show that will be loaded with A-list stars from top to bottom. Rapper Kendrick Lamar leads the way in nominations with eight, followed by Drake with seven and producer Boi-1Da on six.

Kristaps Porzingis Had Nets, Clippers On Trade List But Not Mavericks
According to Stein , his meeting with the Knicks was originally scheduled for earlier in January. It's anyone's guess how the Mavericks will play, so it leaves them in limbo.

All Russia investigation transcripts from House Intelligence to be released
Trump said that Schiff had "no basis" for his investigation, noting that he felt unfairly targeted by Democrats. Schiff also said the committee plans to release all transcripts of testimony given to the committee.

Emiliano Sala: French club Nantes 'demand transfer fee' from Cardiff
However, the AAIB says that video from a remote underwater vehicle "is expected to provide valuable evidence for our safety investigation".