Thai polls: Princess nomination sends party into crisis

ANKARA

A Thai political party is facing collapse after it chose a member of the country’s royal family as its prime ministerial candidate last week for the upcoming general election in the country.

Thai Raksa Chart party has nominated Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi — the elder sister of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn — to run for prime minister for the election slated for March 24.

The party was founded by the allies of former prime ministers Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was ousted in a 2014 coup.

However, Vajiralongkorn has objected to the unprecedented move in the country’s history, calling it “unconstitutional” in an address to the nation, which forced the princess to withdraw her candidacy.

The Raksa Chart party is now seeking a royal pardon, the Bangkok Post newspaper reported Monday.

“The Thai Raksa Chart Party is mulling whether its executives should resign from their posts to make sure its election strategy remains intact in the wake of their unprecedented nomination of a princess,” said the newspaper.

“Rungrueng Pittayasiri became the first executive member of the controversial Thai Raksa Chart party to tender his resignation from the party,” local daily The Nation reported Monday.

“The future of the party was on the verge of being dissolved,” the newspaper added.

Ubolratana, an MIT graduate, was the first ever member of the Thai royal family to accept the nomination to run for the top public office since 1932.

The general election is due in Thailand since 2014 when military toppled down the civilian government led by Yingluck. The country is under army rule since the coup.

Source: AA