Palace statement broadcast nationwide late Friday night.
Palace statement broadcast nationwide late Friday night.

BANGKOK — His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn issued a strongly worded rebuke to his sister’s bid to become prime minister late Friday night.

After a day that saw political fault lines shift following the bombshell announcement that Ubolratana Mahidol had been nominated to be Thailand’s next prime minister, the king issued a statement that she could not hold office.

Although Ubolratana had renounced her title, she still “lives as a member of the Chakri Dynasty” and “having a high-ranking member of the royal family involved in politics, regardless in what way, is against the royal ancient tradition … and national culture, and considered highly inappropriate,” the king said in the statement, which was broadcast nationwide just before 11pm.

It said that in all constitutions – including the current – “the king stays above politics,” which also means the queen, the heir apparent and the king’s immediate family must remain “politically neutral” and “cannot hold any political positions, as it’s a violation of the constitution and the tradition of constitutional monarchy.”

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