Princess Ubolratana of Thailand barred from running for prime minister

Princess Ubolratana who says she will be a candidate for Prime Minister in next month's elections in Thailand

Thai Princess Running for PM'We're Entering an Uncharted Territory

Ubolratana Rajaka, Princess of Thailand, attends "Thailand Hub of Entertainment", a film and entertainment industry event for investors, in Hong Kong March 24, 2010.

Thai Princess Ubolratana was on Monday formally disqualified for running for prime minister, ending her brief and ill-fated political union with a party allied to the powerful Shinawatra clan, just days after a stern royal command rebuking her candidacy was issued by her brother, the king.

That ends a bold gambit by the anti-military coalition to boost its popularity and insulate itself against charges of being anti-monarchy, by having the king's flamboyant older sister Ubolratana run for prime minister, although her nomination can not be legally withdrawn.

Uncertainty and conjecture have coursed through Thailand since Friday when the Thai Raksa Chart party made the explosive announcement of Princess Ubolratana, King Maha Vajiralongkorn's elder sister, as their candidate for premier after the March 24 election.

The EC rejected TRC's candidate on grounds that royal family members are above politics and can not hold political positions.

But 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 nomination of the king's older sister, who has starred in soap operas and an action movie was a shocking move. It is unlikely its members would disregard the wishes of the king, who while a constitutional monarch, is considered semi-divine in Thai society.

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Among the candidates for prime minister is the current junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, who as army chief led the coup.

"The EC must therefore take steps to dissolve the party", Paiboon said, citing Section 92 of the 2018 Political Party Act's stipulation on dissolution of the party when it has obtained credible evidence that it has committed an act deemed hostile to constitutional monarchy rule. He said that the princess' name could be used for election campaigning, which breaches Section 17 of the election law barring candidates and political parties from using the monarchy for that.

Her shock nomination broke with a long-standing tradition of members of the royal family staying out of politics. Prayuth was the Thai army chief in 2014 and led the coup that ousted a government led by Thaksin's sister.

Thai Raksa Chart is one of several pro-Thaksin parties contesting the election.

"Things are now more unpredictable", Titipol told Reuters.

His movement has won every democratic election in Thailand since 2001, but Thaksin and his sister live as exiles outside the country on corruption and other charges they say are politically motivated.

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