Thailand’s king condemns bid by sister to become PM

Princess Ubolratana Mahidol, 67, has been nominated as a candidate for a party allied to divisive former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

Such a move would break with the tradition of the Thai royal family publicly staying out of politics.

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

The vote is being closely watched as the first chance for Thailand to return to democracy after five years under military rule.

In a palace statement broadcast on all Thai TV networks, the king said: “Even though she has relinquished her royal titles in writing, she maintained her status and carried herself as a member of the Chakri dynasty.

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Thailand’s king condemns bid by sister to become PM

“Involvement of a high-ranking member of the royal family in politics, in whatever way, is considered an act that defies the nation’s traditions, customs and culture, and therefore is considered extremely inappropriate.”

The statement cited a passage of the constitution that says the monarchy should maintain political neutrality.

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In an Instagram post, she reiterated that she had relinquished all her royal titles and now lived as a commoner.

She said she wanted to exercise her rights as an ordinary citizen by offering her candidacy for prime minister. She said she would work with all sincerity and determination for the prosperity of all Thais.

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Ex-princess shocks Thailand with prime minister bid. Her brother, the king, objects

Thailand has endured 12 successful military coups, several failed ones, massive street demonstrations and palace intrigue since its constitutional monarchy was established nearly a century ago.

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A 67-year-old former princess, the daughter of Thailand’s beloved late king, entered the race for prime minister on Friday, upending next month’s elections and stunning a country where the monarchy is deified and has traditionally floated above politics.

Even more surprising was that Ubolratana Mahidol ‘ a UCLA biostatistics graduate, actress, pop singer, philanthropist and Instagram celebrity ‘ was nominated by a party allied with a fugitive ex-prime minister, whom hard-core supporters of the royal family revile as an enemy of the monarchy.

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Thai Princess Registers To Run For Prime Minister, And Thai King Moves To Stop Her

Princess Ubolratana Mahidol hopes to shatter a long-observed division between royalty and politics. But the king, her brother, says her candidacy is “inappropriate.”

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Princess Ubolratana Mahidol, the older sister of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, is hoping to be a candidate for prime minister ‘ a move that would mark a startling break with Thai royalty’s long-observed practice of staying out of politics. But her effort now seems doomed, after the king spoke out against his sister’s bid for office.

Hours after Ubolratana’s campaign registration papers were filed, the royal palace issued a statement in which the king said her candidacy is “inappropriate” and “unconstitutional,” according to a translation by journalist Saksith Saiyasombut of Channel News Asia.

Thai princess shatters royal protocols with populist bid for prime minister

HONG KONG ‘ The elder sister of Thailand’s king was nominated Friday as a candidate for prime minister in upcoming elections, upending a tradition where the Thai monarchy was seen as apart from the politics and presenting a serious challenge to the ruling military junta.

It also tests the boundaries of Thailand’s law that makes any criticism of the monarchy a criminal offense.

The princess, Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Varnavadi, has officially shed her royal titles. But she is still regarded in the public mind as a member of the royal family, and her entry into politics sets an unprecedented quandary for her opponents in the March elections.

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