Last Update 13:49
Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Thai princess says #ILoveYou to supporters after king opposes her PM candidacy

Reuters , Saturday 9 Feb 2019
Ubolratana Rajaka
Ubolratana Rajaka, Princess of Thailand, attends "Thailand Hub of Entertainment", a film and entertainment industry event for investors, in Hong Kong March 24, 2010. Picture taken March 24, 2010. (REUTERS)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1386
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1386

The Thai princess whose stunning announcement she was running for prime minister was quickly opposed by her brother, the king, thanked her supporters on Saturday, saying she wants Thailand to be "moving forward", but she did not comment on her candidacy.

Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, 67, shocked the country on Friday when she announced she would be the prime ministerial candidate for a populist party loyal to ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, in a March 24 election.

But her foray into politics - breaking with royal tradition - looked to be short-lived after public opposition from her younger brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, which is likely to lead to her disqualification by the Election Commission.

The Thai Raksa Chart party, which nominated Ubolratana cancelled a campaign event planned for Saturday but party leaders would not comment on the king's opposition.

King Vajiralongkorn, 66, issued a message late on Friday, saying his elder sister's candidacy was "inappropriate" and it was against the spirit of the constitution for royalty to be involved in politics.

While the Election Commission has the final say on approval of candidates, it seems unlikely its members would ignore the powerful influence of the king in making its decision.

In an Instagram post on Saturday, the princess did not directly mention her brother or her political hopes, but thanked supporters for their "love and kindness toward each other over the past day" and expressed gratitude for their support for her.

"I would like to say once again that I want to see Thailand moving forward, being admirable and acceptable by international countries, want to see all Thais have rights, a chance, good living, happiness to all," she said, concluding with "#ILoveYou".

Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932, but the royal family has wielded great influence.

Friday was the last day for parties to declare candidates.

Her main opponent in the March general election, if her nomination were to stand, would likely be Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who was army chief when he led the 2014 coup and now heads the ruling junta, who also announced his candidacy on Friday.

The Election Commission declined to comment when contacted by Reuters late on Friday night, with an official saying its members will hold a meeting on Monday.

The leaders of the princess's nominating party, Thai Raksa Chart - an offshoot of the larger pro-Thaksin party that was ousted from power in the 2014 coup - have declined to comment on the king's statement.

The party cancelled a planned event on Saturday in Bangkok featuring leader Preechapol Pongpanich, according to one of its parliamentary candidates. The princess had not been scheduled to appear at that event.

Ubolratana relinquished her royal titles in 1972 when she married an American, a fellow student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Peter Jensen. She lived in the United States for more than 26 years before they divorced in 1998.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.