Thai Princess turns politician


Photo Credit:     REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Thai Princess, Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Varnavadi, is to run for prime minister against ruling military junta.

The eldest sister of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has joined the race to be the country’s next prime minister, breaking with tradition that the royal family doesn’t get involved in politics.

Princess Ubolratana, 67, will stand for a party allied to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, according to registration papers.

Thai Raksa Chart party leader Preechapol Pongpanich, holds up application of candidate for Prime Minister, Thailand’s Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, at the election commission office in Bangkok, Thailand February 8, 2019. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

In a surprise move, political party Thai Raksa Chart has announced Ubolratana Mahidol as top-candidate for elections scheduled on March 24.

“The (party) board agrees that the name of Princess Ubolratana, an educated and skilled person, is the most suitable choice,” Thai Raksa Chart party leader Preechapol Pongpanich told reporters.

Thailand’s military has a history of intervening in politics and has seized power 12 times since the end of the absolute monarchy – and the introduction of the first constitution – in 1932, according to the BBC.

The March vote will be the first since the current prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, overthrew the democratic government and ousted ex-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the younger sister of Thaksin Shinawatra.



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