Feb 12, 2019

Thailand's princess ruled out as election candidate

Thailand’s princess shocked the country Friday by announcing a prime ministerial bid, but her candidacy quickly crumbled after her brother, King Vajiralongkorn, called it “inappropriate.”

  • Princess Ubolratana was selected to run by a party linked to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in an audacious bid to break the military’s hold on power.
  • The royals have historically steered clear of politics and, under the country’s laws, can’t even be insulted. Though Princess Ubolratana technically renounced her royal titles after marrying an American, she remains linked to the family. She’s a popular and glamorous figure who has starred in films and performed with pop stars, per the BBC.
  • Her unlikely bid ended after the palace said it would defy “the nation's traditions, customs and culture.” Thailand’s electoral commission today released a list of candidates for the March 24 election, and the princess wasn’t on it.

The big picture: This will be the first election since current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha overthrew the democratically elected government in 2014.

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