BANGKOK (AP) — The Thai political party that took the unprecedented and ultimately unsuccessful step of nominating a member of the royal family as its candidate for prime minister was fighting for its political life Wednesday, while the princess herself appeared to criticize the fallout.
The country’s Election Commission said Wednesday that it recommended the Thai Raksa Chart Party be dissolved because its prime minister candidate was “in conflict with the system of rule of democracy with king as head of state.”
The party on Feb. 8 named Princess Ubolratana Mahidol its candidate for prime minister for the March 24 general election.
What made Ubolratana’s bid particularly notable was her allying herself with a party that is part of the political machine of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and is loathed by many royalists and others in the country’s traditional establishment.
Ubolratana’s candidacy could have pitted her against the preferred candidate of the pro-royalist military, junta leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who led the 2014 coup.
Prayuth was considered the frontrunner, largely because election laws enacted under his government skewed the odds against any party running without the support of the military and the conservative royalist establishment.
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