The commission released the official list of parties’ candidates for prime minister on Monday without the name of Princess Ubolratana, the older sister of the king.
Members of the royal family should be “above politics” and therefore cannot “hold any political office,” the commission said in a statement, echoing the wording of a public statement from the king on Friday.
The 67-year-old princess had accepted the nomination of Thai Raksa Chart party, made up of supporters of ousted ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Her shock nomination broke with a long-standing tradition of members of the royal family staying out of politics.
Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932, but the royal family wields great influence and commands the devotion of millions.
Ubolratana was stripped of her royal title when she married a US national in 1972.
She returned to Thailand in the late 1990s after getting a divorce. Although her formal title was not restored, she is regarded and treated as royalty by people in Thailand.
In a statement read out on all television stations within hours of her candidacy, King Vajiralongkorn said it was “inappropriate” for members of the royal family to enter politics.
The Thai Raksa Chart responded swiftly, cancelling a campaign event on Saturday and issuing a statement saying it “complies with the royal command”.
The party could be banned from the March 24 election after an activist said he would file a petition seeking its dissolution.
Thai Raksa Chart is one of several pro-Thaksin parties contesting the election. The military government’s leader, Prayuth Chan-ocha, is also contesting the race for prime minister as the candidate of a pro-army party. Prayuth was the Thai army chief in 2014 and led the coup that overthrew a government led by Thaksin’s sister.
Parties loyal to former telecommunications tycoon Thaksin have defeated pro-establishment parties to win every election since 2001 but, since 2006, each of their governments has been removed by court rulings or coups.
The gambit of nominating a member of the royal family could backfire on Thai Raksa Chart, said Titipol Phakdeewanich, dean of the faculty of political science at Ubon Ratchathani University.
“Things are now more unpredictable,” Titipol told Reuters.
If the party is dissolved, it could give more seats to anti-Thaksin affiliated parties, he said, although there are other parties loyal to the ex-premier contesting the election.
Thaksin, himself removed in a coup in 2006, lives in self-imposed exile after being convicted by a Thai court of corruption in absentia. DM
Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!
No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.
Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.
It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.
But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.
So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.
Don't believe Han Solo's evasion of Empire TIE Fighters. There are many miles of vacuum space between each asteroid in a field.