Thai election commission mulls recommending dissolution of Thai Raksa Chart party: Report

Asia

BANGKOK: Thailand’s election commission may recommend that the Thai Raksa Chart party be dissolved for allegedly drawing the monarchy into politics, according to reports by the Bangkok Post on Tuesday (Feb 12).  

This would involve asking the constitutional court to disband the party. 

An earlier report by the Bangkok Post said that the commission had voted in favour of making that recommendation, but the news portal said in a later update, citing the commission president, that a final decision has not been made. 

Thai Raksa Chart party, which is linked to fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, had nominated Thai Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya as their prime ministerial candidate for the country’s upcoming election.

This was, however, quickly shot down by the election commission, which said that her candidacy was “inappropriate”, echoing words of the king. 

According to Bangkok Post on its initial report, the commission voted on Tuesday to ask the constitutional court to disband the party for committing an act deemed hostile to Thailand’s system of constitutional monarchy.

The commission was to send the case to the court on Monday, said the report, adding that the commission based its decision on three pieces of evidence: A Feb 8 royal announcement, the party’s letter announcing the person it proposed as a prime ministerial candidate and the party’s letter allowing parliament to consider approving its candidate as prime minister.

If the court agrees with the commission, Thai Raksa Chart party will be disbanded and its executives barred from politics either for 10 years or for life, reported the Bangkok Post.

It was announced last Friday that the 67-year-old princess, who is the Thai king’s older sister, would run for prime minister, nominated as a candidate for the Thai Raksa Chart party.

However later that day, Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn said his sister’s candidacy for prime minister was inappropriate and unconstitutional. 

The party then said in a statement the next day that it would obey the king’s command. 

On Monday, the election commission disqualified the princess from running for prime minister, 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”.

READ: Thai king says sister’s candidacy for prime minister is ‘inappropriate’, ‘unconstitutional’: Palace statement

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