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Thailand party accepts king's opposition to Princess Ubolratana PM bid

BBC    

10 February, 2019 09:50 AM



Thailand party accepts king's opposition to Princess Ubolratana PM bid

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The party that nominated a Thai princess to run for prime minister has said it will comply with the king's wishes after he opposed the move.

Thai Raksa Chart is allied to divisive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

On Friday, King Vajiralongkorn denounced his sister Princess Ubolratana Mahidol's unprecedented bid for political power as inappropriate.

The candidacy would have broken with the tradition of the Thai royal family publicly staying out of politics.

The party said it complied "with the royal command with loyalty to the king and all members of the royal family".

A palace statement had said such an act would "defy the nation's culture".

Broadcast on all Thai TV networks, the statement 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.

"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.

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

Analysts say the king's intervention would in any case have been likely to have led to the election commission disqualifying her from the 24 March election.


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