By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - Thailand’s constitutional court has disbanded an opposition political party for nominating a royal family member as its candidate for the prime minister’s post ahead of March 24 elections in the country, local media reported on Thursday.
According to daily Bangkok Post, an order unanimously passed by the constitutional court of the country dissolved the Thai Raksa Chart party citing “customary law”.
Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, the elder sister of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, was nominated the candidate for prime minister by Thai Raksa Chart Party on Feb. 8.
“This action undermined Thailand’s constitutional monarchy,” local daily The Nation quoted the constitutional court order.
Thai king Vajiralongkorn had objected to the unprecedented move in the country’s history, calling it "unconstitutional" in an address to the nation on Feb. 10 which forced the princess to withdraw her candidacy.
All 14 members of Thai Raksa Chart Party’s executive board were banned from participating in politics for next 10 years, the daily reported.
Thai Raksa Chart Party was founded by the allies of former prime ministers Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was ousted in a 2014 military coup.
Princess Ubolratana had already relinquished her royal status in 1972. However, she continues to work as a member of the Royal Family, attending royal ceremonies as well as representing the monarchy, the order said.
“Hence, the princess is an inseparable part of the institution. Submitting her name as a candidate for the premier’s post undermines the above politic status of the monarchy,” The Nation quoted the court order.
“The party has committed an act that could be seen as damaging to the crown,” it added.
Ubolratana is an MIT graduate and was the first ever member of the Thai royal family to accept the nomination to run for the top public office since 1932.
The country has been a constitutional-monarchy since 1932 where the executive is elected by people, however, the king yields much influence. Thai army has traditionally remained loyal to the monarch and his family.