Thai election panel disqualifies princess as PM candidate
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s election panel on Monday disqualified the sister of the king from working for top minister, hanging an finish to a shocking, short-lived candidacy through echoing King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s phrases that royalty will have to be “above politics”.
The Election Commission launched the professional listing of events’ applicants for top minister with out the title of Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, 67, the king’s elder sister.
The listing excluded Ubolratana “because every member of the royal family comes within the application of the same rule requiring the monarch to be above politics and to be politically neutral,” the panel mentioned in a remark after a gathering.
The princess had permitted the nomination of the Thai Raksa Chart celebration, a populist motion drawn from supporters of ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been on the middle of greater than a decade of turmoil in Thai politics.
The March 24 elections are the primary since a 2014 army coup toppled a pro-Thaksin executive. Among the applicants for top minister is the present junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, who as military leader led the coup.
The panel didn’t point out a separate petition in the hunt for to prohibit Thai Raksa Chart at the grounds that it violated election regulations in opposition to the usage of the monarchy in campaigning.
Party leaders weren’t straight away to be had for remark and canceled a press convention deliberate for Monday.
Ubolratana’s marvel nomination broke with a practice that contributors of the royal circle of relatives keep out of politics.
Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932, however the royal circle of relatives wields nice affect and instructions the devotion of tens of millions of Thais, with the king regarded as to be semi-divine.
In a remark learn on all Thai tv stations inside of hours of Ubolratana’s announcement as a candidate, King Vajiralongkorn mentioned it used to be “inappropriate” and unconstitutional for contributors of the royal circle of relatives to go into politics.
The dramatic occasions since Friday have put Thais on edge. Riot police devices had been on top alert in Pichit province, north of Bangkok, the place the princess used to be because of consult with later this week, in keeping with Matichon newspaper.
Bangkok has been locked in political struggle for greater than a decade – with boulevard protests every now and then paralyzing the capital for months at a time – between supporters of Thaksin’s populist logo of politics and the mostly-middle elegance and concrete institution who establish with the monarchy and the army.
Parties dependable to Thaksin, a former telecommunications wealthy person, have defeated pro-establishment events to win each election since 2001. Each in their governments has been got rid of through court docket rulings or coups since 2006.
The hashtag ‘#coup’ used to be trending on Thai-language Twitter on Monday and a pretend record additionally circulated on-line claiming that the junta had sacked commanders within the military, military and air power.
The rumors had been false and meant to destabilize Thailand, the spokesman for the ruling junta, Colonel Winthai Suvaree, informed journalists.
“This is organized behavior with hope to gain something, particularly to disturb the peace of the country during this important moment,” he mentioned.
The pro-Thaksin camp’s bid to appoint a member of the royal circle of relatives electrified the election race, however it would backfire on Thai Raksa Chart, mentioned Titipol Phakdeewanich, a political science professor at Ubon Ratchathani University.
Dissolving Thai Raksa Chart may just hand extra seats to military-affiliated events or different established events, as smartly as a separate youth-oriented populist celebration.
Additional reporting through Patpicha Tanakasempipat and Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing through Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez