A Thai political party that nominated a princess to run for prime minister has agreed to withdraw her name after her brother, the country’s king, called the idea “highly inappropriate”, AFP reported on Saturday.
Princess Ubolratana had announced her bid on Friday, but King Vajiralongkorn said having the royal family in politics is against tradition. The party, Thai Raksa Chart, cancelled a campaign event on Saturday and said it would comply “with the royal command”.
Royals have not run for political office in Thailand since 1932.
Earlier on Saturday, the 67-year-old princess had said on Instagram that she wanted Thailand to “move forward”, Reuters reported. Ubolratana defended her decision to run for office by saying she had relinquished all her royal titles and now lived as a common citizen.
Ubolratana had given up her royal titles in 1972 after marrying an American. She returned to Thailand after a divorce. She has acted in films and is popular on social media.
The palace, however, said she is still a member of the ruling dynasty. The king’s word is rarely ignored in Thailand.
The March 24 election in Thailand is significant because it is the first since a successful coup against Yingluck Shinawatra’s government in 2014. Ubolratana’s candidature would have threatened the junta’s prospects, given her popularity. The party that fielded her is close to Thaksin Shinawatra, the brother of Yingluck Shinawatra and a former prime minister himself.