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Thai Political Party Facing Dissolution

Thailand’s election commission is calling for the dissolution of the political party that nominated a member of the royal family as its candidate for prime minister. 

The commission filed a request with the Constitutional Court Wednesday to disband the Thai Raksa Chart party because it violated the country’s system of a constitutional monarchy alongside a democratically elected government. 

The Thai Raksa Chart party last Friday nominated Princess Ubolratana Mahidol to run for prime minister in the March 24 general election. The 67-year-old Princess Ubolratana gave up her royal titles after her marriage in 1972 to an American, whom she has since divorced. But King Maha Vajiralongkorn overruled the move as inappropriate and unconstitutional, saying Ubolratana is still a member of the royal family. The Election Commission formally disqualified her on Monday.

In a message on her social media account, Ubolrantana expressed remorse that “my genuine intention to help work for the country and all Thai people has created a problem that should not happen in this day and age.” The message ended with the hashtag theme “#howcomeitsthewayitis.”

The move to dissolve Thai Raksa Chart is notable because it is aligned with the Pheu Thai, the main political party of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin remains popular among Thailand’s rural majority, and his affiliated parties have won every general election since 2001. 

Thaksin and the royalists have been quarreling for most of the last two decades in a bitter feud that has fueled bloodshed and two coups, including one in 2014 that returned the country to its current state of military rule.

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