Preechaphol Pongpanit, leader of the Thai Raksa Chart party, center, speaks to members of the media at the office of the Election Commission in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Thai Party Accepts King’s Command Against Princess PM Candidacy

(Bloomberg) -- A political party in Thailand that nominated Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya as its prime ministerial candidate said it accepted King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s command that her candidacy is "gravely inappropriate."

The Thai Raksa Chart party said in a statement Saturday that it will follow rules set by the Election Commission, the constitution and royal traditions. It also expressed its gratitude to the princess.

Early on Friday, the party said the princess had agreed to be its candidate in the March general election. Hours later, the king said it was inappropriate for his sister to seek office. In a rare, publicly issued royal command, he called the monarchy “the center that glues the hearts of the Thai people together,” and said both “the monarch and the royal family members are above politics.”

The past two days were among the most dramatic in the political history of Thailand, where the royal family is officially treated as semi-divine.

Thai Raksa Chart is linked to ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who is living in exile. The recent events raise many questions about the future of both him and his allies.

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