Thai party facing dissolution over princess' quashed election bid

Bangkok - By Hathai Techakitteranun, - The Thai political party that unsuccessfully put forward the king's elder sister as its candidate for prime minister was Wednesday facing dissolution, after the country's election commission recommended the move.

The independent body said in a statement it recommended the Constitutional Court dissolve the Thai Raksa Chart Party for "acting in adversary to the country's constitutional monarchy."

The party, one of the proxies founded by allies of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, last week put forward Princess Ubolratana as its candidate for prime minister making her the first immediate member of the Thai royal family to try to contest an election.
On Tuesday, the 67-year-old princess apologized on Instagram for the "problems" her bid had caused.
"I'm sorry that my sincere determination to work for the country and the people has caused problems that shouldn't have happened in this day and age," she wrote, ending her post with the hashtag #howcomeitsthewayitis.
On Monday, the commission disqualified her candidacy for the March 24 general election, the country's first election in eight years and the first since the 2014 coup.
Although the commission did not provide an explanation for her disqualification, it is widely believed that the decision derived from the king's statement calling her involvement in politics unconstitutional and inappropriate mere hours after her unprecedented nomination was announced on Friday.
The king's decree seemingly disproved previous assumptions that the palace's antagonism towards the Shinawatra family, who were behind the party's nomination and maintains close friendship with Ubolratana, had ended.
If the party is dissolved, the pro-junta party could gain a further advantage in the upcoming election, analysts have said.

Wednesday, February 13th 2019
By Hathai Techakitteranun,

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