Princess of Thailand and Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s elder sister, Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi was revealed as the new Prime Ministerial candidate in the national elections, scheduled for next month. She is now the first and only member of the Royal family to run for office
Thai Raksa Chart party officially nominated Thailand’s Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi as their Prime Ministerial candidate for next month’s national elections on Friday. The Thai Princess is now the first member of the Royal family to contest elections and her main opponent is incumbent Prime Minister and former leader of the Royal Thai Army, Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Princess Ubolratana’s Thai Raksa Chart party is now an ally of the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thaksin’s Peu Chart party. In 2006, Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted by a military coup, banning him from all political activities. He has been leading the Thaksin’s Peu Chart party from a self-imposed exile.
Prior to the political unveiling of the Princess as a Prime Ministerial candidate, the March elections were expected to be a clash between the military government leader, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the opposing Thaksin’s Peu Chart party and its allies. The new partnership is likely to stir up the political scenario in Thailand ahead of the 2019 elections. The Director of Thailand’s Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University, Thitinan Pongsudhirak asserted that the new partnership had made the relatively smaller, Thai Raksa Chart Party a “leading contender for the election”.
Leader of the Thai Raksa Chart Party, Preechapol Pongpanich has affirmed that the Thai Princess is “knowledgeable and is highly suitable”. He added “I believe there will be no legal problems in terms of her qualification, but we have to wait for the Election Commission to endorse her candidacy.” The Election Commission is likely to take into consideration Thailand’s lèse-majesté laws, which make criticism of the Royal family a punishable offence.
According to local news reports, the Princess is “concerned and wishes to take part in lifting Thais out of poverty”.