Thai election panel wants to dissolve the party that nominated princess for prime minister

The election commission said the party had violated an electoral law with the nomination of the king’s sister.

Thailand Source: Bloomberg

Thailand's election commission is looking at dissolving the Thai Raksa Chart party, the party which nominated princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, the king’s older sister, to run for prime minister. The party is allied to divisive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The election commission said the party had violated an electoral law with the nomination of the king’s sister. The move is considered as ‘antagonistic toward the constitutional monarchy’, the commission said.

The court will be deciding on Thursday whether it would accept the case on the dismissal of the Thai party.

Disbanding the party could anger Mr Thaksin’s supporters. However, it could help boost junta chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha’s chances of staying on as prime minister.

Last week, Thailand's election panel said it had excluded princess 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'.

Thai monarch regarded to be above politics

On Monday, the election commission disqualified the princess on the application candidacy. Thailand’s king Maha Vajiralongkorn had opposed to his sister’s political foray, calling it ‘inappropriate’ and unconstitutional.

The king called the monarchy 'the centre that glues the hearts of the Thai people together,' and said both 'the monarch and the royal family members are above politics'.

In a statement from the royal palace issued moments after the news on the princess agreeing to stand as prime minister broke last week, it said the 'involvement of a high-ranking member of the royal family in politics... is considered extremely inappropriate'.

On Tuesday, princess Ubolratana apologized for causing problems for the people.

'I am sorry my genuine intention to work for the country and Thai people has caused such problems that shouldn’t have happened in this era,' she said on Instagram after making a public appearance in central Thailand.

The royal family has traditionally stayed away from the political strive in the country. Thailand is used to treating top royals as semi-divine and apolitical.

Thailand is set to hold a general election on March 24th.

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