Thai royal family not supportive of Princess' political run

Thai princess to run for PM -- against junta chief

Princess Ubolratana: The 'outspoken' Thai royal with a turbulent history of breaking with tradition

He has been in exile since 2008 to avoid serving jail time on a corruption conviction he insists was politically motivated.

Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, 67, shocked the country on Friday when she announced she would be the prime ministerial candidate for a populist party loyal to ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, in a March 24 election.

Ubolratana, a colourful, public-facing royal in contrast to her more restrained brother King Maha Vajiralongkorn, relinquished her royal titles after marrying the American Peter Jensen in 1972.

A Thai political party will prevent a princess from running for the prime minister position in March elections, it said on Saturday, marking a dramatic U-turn after it said it would nominate her for the position.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who was army chief when he led the 2014 coup and now heads the ruling junta, accepted his nomination from the Palang Pracharath Party, a new party set up by his loyalists, in an official statement.

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So did the Lima Group countries (excluding Mexico), the Organization of American States, and a number of other countries. His press conference in Caracas was twice interrupted by power cuts, which have become common in the capital.

Prayuth had been considered the front-runner for the March 24 polls because changes in constitutional law and election rules were implemented by his government in a manner making it hard for political parties without military backing to capture the premier's post.

The conflict between the Bangkok-centered, royalist elites and Thaksin and his more rural-based supporters has resulted in street protests, military coups, and violent clashes over nearly 15 years. She lived in the United States for more than 26 years before they divorced in 1998.

"Right now we have to reorganize and we will release a statement shortly concerning our future plans", members from the party told DPA news agency.

The announcement by Princess Ubolratana would have broken the long-standing tradition of Thai royalty staying out of politics.

The king also spoke of a clause in the constitution, which specifies that the monarchs and the royal family of Thailand must not be a part of politics and maintain a neutral stance.

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The participation of any high-ranking member from the royal family in politics is deemed to be against royal tradition and Thai culture. Prior to the King's remarks on Friday night, Ubolratana emphasised that she was a commoner after relinquishing her royal titles, and said she wanted "the opportunity to bring glory to the country". Shinawatra's sister Yingluck was prime minister when the government was overthrown in a coup in 2014.

The Thai Raksa Chart party is allied to divisive former PM Thaksin Shinawatra. Princess Ubolratana still performed activities on behalf of the royal family, as well as being a beloved daughter of late King Bhumibol and a respected member of the royal family.

"I am not aiming to extend my power but I am doing this for the benefit of the country and the people", he said.

Ubolratana, who is active on Instagram, did not directly mention the king's order in a Saturday message, merely thanking people for their support and encouragement and insisting on her honest desire to see Thailand progress with rights and opportunities for all its people. "The provisions also cover the queen, heir-apparent and royal family members close to the king".

2004: Ubolratana's son, Bhumi, is killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami. Ubolratana falls into a gray area, since she is commonly called a princess and treated as such, despite losing the royal designations after her marriage.

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