The political career of Thailand‘s Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi lasted only 3 times, but at that time her announcement that she would be a candidate for prime minister in a March election shook up the kingdom.
For your sister of King Maha Vajiralongkorn to get into politics was shocking enough, but exactly what threatened to upend Thailand’s political dynamic was the fact that she declared her candidacy for a populist party connected to an exiled former prime minister.
By Monday, the country’s Election Commission had disqualified the princess, 67, from getting involved in the election, even echoing the words of the king himself, who stated on Friday her candidacy had been”inappropriate”.
Still, even though the princess will not be a candidate at the March 24 vote, her political aspirations – and the populists’ fearless gambit in nominating her could linger in voters’ minds.
The election is the first since the 2014 military coup, also will pit allies of overthrown ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from urban and middle class competitions devoting extreme dedication into the Thai monarchy.
Thaksin or his proxies have won every election in Thailand since 2001.
With its nomination of their king’s sister for prime minister, the Thai Raksa Chart party sought to flip the long-standing charge by competitions that Thaksin and his allies were loyal to the monarchy.
The royal family is revered in Thailand as semi-divine. Insulting that the monarchy is contrary to the law, punished by around 15 years . By longstanding tradition, the family have kept themselves over politics as a symbol of Thai tradition\.
Since 2005, when protesters attracted largely from the middle-class and urban institution started demonstrating against Thaksin’s rule, the rallying call of anti-Thaksin compels has been to guard the monarchy.
The ancient protesters wore yellowish – a color related to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej – to demonstrate their reverence to the monarchy and Thai civilization that they said Thaksin threatened through corruption and minding his personal power.
The military deposed Thaksin at 2006 as well as because then, Thai politics have been locked in a cycle of the allies winning elections and later being removed from electricity by court rulings or coups – most recently in (**************), when the army overthrew the remnants of a government which had been led by Thaksin’s sister Yingluck.
Nominating Princess Udolratana was Thai Raksa Chart’s effort to turn the table and invoke the appeal of the royal family as a populist princess.
However, the gambit was fast shut down with her brother, who ascended to the throne in 2016, following the departure of their father, and also will be formally crowned in May.
Still, the short entrance of royalty into politics might just deepen Thailand’s political branches, stated Anusorn Unno, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology in Thammasat University.
“To Thai Raksa Chart supporters, this has created more closeness to the party… These will see the party as a victim in this situation,” he explained.
As for Thaksin’s competitions, they’re most likely to be galvanised by the things they will see in an attempt to manipulate the monarchy, said Anusorn.