Thai king's sister to run for PM

Updated: Feb 09, 2019, 11:47 IST | Agencies

Princess Ubolratana, 67, the older sister of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, was announced as a candidate for the Thai Raksa Chart party steered by the divisive Shinawatra political clan

Thai Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya. Pic/AFP
Thai Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya. Pic/AFP

A Thai princess will run for prime minister in March elections in an unprecedented entry by a royal into frontline politics. Princess Ubolratana, 67, the older sister of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, was announced as a candidate for the Thai Raksa Chart party steered by the divisive Shinawatra political clan.

The Thai monarchy, a revered institution shielded from criticism by a tough defamation law, has traditionally been seen as above the political fray, although royals have intervened in moments of political crisis.

Ubolratana's nomination has electrified the build-up to a March 24 election which had seemed poised to return the junta and its proxies to power. The princess's move deals a heavy blow to the aspirations of Prayut Chan-O-Cha, the junta head, who has spent nearly five years trying to recast the political system to limit the power of elected governments.

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