Thailand election: Thai princess to stand as PM candidate


Thai Raksa Chart party leader Preechapol Pongpanich, holds up application of candidate for Prime Minister, Thailand's Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Varnavadi,Image copyright
Reuters

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The princess, 67, is breaking with decades of royal tradition

The sister of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has joined the race to be the country’s next prime minister.

Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Varnavadi, 67, will stand for a party loyal to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, according to registration papers.

Traditionally the Thai royal family stays out of politics, so this is an unprecedented move.

Thailand’s election is scheduled to take place on 24 March.

The princess is the eldest sister of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, and has registered for the Thai Raksa Chart party.

The development raises questions about the future of other political candidates, amid speculation that no-one will run against a member of the royal family.

The country’s current prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, also announced on Friday that he would be running for prime minister in the current election.

The army chief, who seized power in a military coup in 2014, will be running as a candidate for the pro-military Palang Pracharat party.



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