Thai party to comply with royal order against princess PM candidacy: Statement

 

A Thai political party will obey a command from the king blocking the candidacy of a princess for prime minister, it said in a statement on Saturday, in a dramatic reversal only a day after putting her forward for the position.

"Thai Raksa Chart party complies with the royal command", it said in a LINE message to reporters.

The statement added that the party is ready to do its duty with respect to the "tradition and royal customs" under Thailand's constitutional monarchy.

The announcement effectively invalidates Princess Ubolratana's unprecedented bid for prime minister in March elections and comes after an extraordinary rebuke of her candidacy by her younger brother Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Thai Raksa Chart announced the princess as their candidate on Friday morning in a move that looked to rattle the status quo and threaten the ambitions of the junta that has ruled Thailand since it toppled the administration of Yingluck Shinawatra in a 2014 coup.

But the Thai king torpedoed the bid in a sharply worded statement later the same day that said bringing senior royal family members into politics is against tradition, national culture and "highly inappropriate".

Thailand has some of the most severe lese majeste laws in the world and the king's word is considered final.