Friday 22 March 2019

Thai princess's political party dissolved by court

Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya. Photo: Getty Images
Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya. Photo: Getty Images

Nicola Smith

Thailand's judges ruled yesterday to dissolve one of the country's main opposition parties, whose prime ministerial candidate was to have been the king's sister.

It deals a crushing blow to a democratic movement that was to contest the March 24 election.

The constitutional court ordered the Thai Raksa Chart Party (TRC) to disband and banished its executives from politics for 10 years.

Its 251 candidates were disqualified from campaigning or standing. The nine judges voted unanimously to dissolve the party.

The TRC, aligned to the Pheu Thai party of Thaksin Shinawatra, the exiled former prime minister, landed itself in a legal minefield last month when it nominated Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya as its leading candidate, causing uproar in a nation where the royalty is revered and laws make it a criminal offence to insult the monarchy.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn swiftly crushed his older sibling's political ambitions and the princess apologised.

Human rights groups were swift to condemn yesterday's court ruling.

Irish Independent

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