Thailand election panel disqualifies princess as PM candidate

The princess was nominated by Raksa Chart party. Above, a representative of the party hold the registration document submitted to nominate Ubolratana. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019
0

Thailand election panel disqualifies princess as PM candidate

  • The election panel published the list of candidates for prime minister without the princess’ name
  • The princess was nominated by a populist movement party, which supported the ousted Thaksin Shinawatra

BANGKOK: Thailand’s election panel on Monday disqualified the sister of the king from running for prime minister, putting an end to a stunning, short-lived candidacy by echoing King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s words that royalty should be “above politics.”
The Election Commission released the official list of parties’ candidates for prime minister without the name of Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, 67, the king’s elder sister.
The list left out Ubolratana “because every member of the royal family comes within the application of the same rule requiring the monarch to be above politics and to be politically neutral,” the panel said in a statement after a meeting.
The princess had accepted the nomination of the Thai Raksa Chart party, a populist movement drawn from supporters of ousted ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been at the center of nearly 15 years of turmoil in Thai politics.
The March 24 elections are the first since a 2014 military coup toppled a pro-Thaksin government. Among the candidates for prime minister is the current junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, who as army chief led the coup.
Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932, but the royal family wields great influence and commands the devotion of millions of Thais, with the king considered to be semi-divine.
Ubolratana’s surprise nomination broke with a tradition for members of the royal family to stay out of politics.
However, in a statement read on all Thai television stations within hours of her announcement as a candidate, King Vajiralongkorn said it was “inappropriate” and unconstitutional for members of the royal family to enter politics.
The commission is also considering a complaint seeking to ban the Thai Raksa Chart party but did not mention the petition on Monday.


Rohingya refugees protest exodus, demand rights in Myanmar

Updated 25 August 2019
0

Rohingya refugees protest exodus, demand rights in Myanmar

  • The event comes days after Bangladesh attempted to start the repatriation of 3,450 Rohingya Muslims
  • Another rally opposing the force repatriation is planned for Sunday

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Thousands of angry and frustrated Rohingya refugees have marked the second anniversary of their exodus from Myanmar into Bangladesh by demanding their citizenship and other rights in the country they fled from.
The event comes days after Bangladesh attempted to start the repatriation of 3,450 Rohingya Muslims but none agreed to go back voluntarily.
More than 1 million Rohingya live in Bangladesh.
On Sunday morning, more than 3,000 gathered at a playground in Kutupalong camp. Some carried placards and banners reading “Never Again! Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day,” and “Restore our citizenship.”
Organizer Muhib Ullah says they plan a massive rally later Sunday.
Myanmar has consistently denied human rights violations and says military operations in Rakhine state were justified in response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents.