BANGKOK — Citing a grave violation of election law, the Election Commission on Tuesday recommended that the Thai Raksa Chart Party be dissolved for allegedly drawing the monarchy into politics.
According to media reports, the majority of commissioners ruled that the party – which is aligned with a fugitive former premier – violated regulations by nominating Princess Ubolratana Mahidol as its candidate for prime minister.
The Constitutional Court will take up the case and decide whether the party should be disbanded. It was not immediately clear when a decision would be made. Thai Raksa Chart would become the latest in a series of parties associated with former PM Thaksin Shinawatra to be shut down by the court.
If Thai Raksa Chart Party is disbanded, the pro-Thaksin faction would immediately lose more than 200 candidates from the field going into the March 24 election. Thai Raksa Chart is part of a three-party coalition loyal to the former leader.
The party’s nomination was blocked by His Majesty the King himself, who said in a statement that members of the royal family cannot run for office because it violates royal tradition and the constitution.
Party leader Preechapol Pongpanich said today that the party would continue to campaign as normal for the election.
Election officials Monday formally rejected Ubolratana’s candidacy, three days after King Vajiralongkorn issued a televised statement expressing his disapproval.
On Saturday, Thai Raksa Chart released a statement saying they had accepted the king’s judgment. Party leader Preechapol repeated the same message in a brief conversation with reporters today.
Amid the backlash, party executive Rungruang Pittiyasiri resigned, saying he disagreed with the nomination of Ubolratana.