Thai election commission to rule on PM candidacy of princess

Thai Raksa Chart party leader Preechapol Pongpanich holds up application of candidate for Prime Minister Thailand's Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi at the election commission office in Bangkok

Ubolratana Rajaka, Princess of Thailand, attends "Thailand Hub of Entertainment", a film and entertainment industry event for investors, in Hong Kong March 24, 2010.

On Friday, a day of whiplashing political drama in Thailand, the older sister of the king briefly assumed another position - nominated to be prime minister by a party opposed to the military junta that has ruled since a coup in 2014.

Thailand's Election Commission announced it would make a formal ruling on the princess's short-lived stand on Monday but it is likely she will be disqualified after the king denouncement and her party's decision to comply.

The political hopes of the princess were dashed nearly immediately when her younger brother, the king, issued a terse statement saying his sister's candidacy was "highly inappropriate" and went against tradition and national culture. Ubolratana was nominated by the party in an unprecedented move, marking the first time in the 86-year history of Thailand's constitutional monarchy that a royal family member has sought the prime minister seat.

The nomination of the king's elder sister, who has starred in soap operas and an action movie and gave up her royal titles after marrying an American, was a shocking move by forces loyal to Thaksin, who face an uphill battle in the election.

Opponents of the Shinawatra political clan campaigned triumphantly in the Thai capital on Sunday, after a weekend of high political drama when a Thai princess' bid to be premier provoked a rare royal rebuke.

"The royal announcement made it clear that the party violated electoral law", Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, told Reuters news agency.

Brewing storm could bring dumping of snow
Conditions are likely to let up later in the day, but another storm system is expected to push across the area late Sunday. Cloudy weather will keep Sunday morning temperatures above freezing: expect lows in the upper 30s to low 40s.

Thai Raksa Chart's executive chairman Chaturon Chaisaeng declined to comment on the request to disband it.

Members of the Phalang Pracharat party - which is aligned with the military - were jubilant following the weekend's upheaval and its party leaders took to the streets, campaigning in a 60-vehicle convoy, to tout their tradition-abiding credentials.

"We will keep moving forward in the election so that we can solve the problems for the people and country", the party said in a statement posted on Facebook.

"Involvement of a high ranking member of the royal family in politics, in whatever way, is an act that conflicts with the country's traditions, customs, and culture, and therefore is considered extremely inappropriate".

Thai Raksa Chart is one of several pro-Thaksin parties contesting the election.

"Things are now more unpredictable", Titipol told Reuters.

Thaksin, himself ousted in a coup in 2006, lives in self-imposed exile after being convicted by a Thai court of corruption in absentia.

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