Thailand: Princess was ‘nominated for PM with her consent’

  • In its latest bid to fight the possibility of dissolution, the embattled Thai Raksa Chart Party on 20 Feb 19 defended its nomination of Princess Ubolratana, saying it had been done at the wish and consent of the Princess.
  • The party’s lawyer, Surachai Chinchai, explained that the nomination was done with innocent intent and the party had no special goals behind it.
  • The controversial nomination led to several complaints against the party as well as petitions for its dissolution. In response, the Election Commission (EC) on 13 Feb 19 petitioned the Constitutional Court to dissolve the party, saying its act breached the political party law that prohibited any opposition to constitutional monarchy.
  • Surachai said the party did not commit any of these crimes, as Ubolratana had given her consent to the nomination. “The petition does not just call for the dissolution of the party, but also calls for the banning of party executives from politics for life. This is equivalent to capital punishment in politics,” he added.
  • Meanwhile, he also pointed out that the EC had submitted the petition to the Constitutional Court without even investigating the issue. “Therefore, the steps taken by the EC were not in line with the law,” he said, adding this made its petition to the Constitutional Court illegitimate.
  • In its defence, the party has submitted a list of 19 witnesses, 14 of whom are party executives and five outsiders. However, he refused to say whether the controversial candidate would be among the five witnesses.
  • The EC has been widely criticised for its haste in taking the case to court, with some saying this was a form of discrimination and a move to remove Thai Raksa Chart from the fray. Thai Raksa Chart is a pro-Thaksin Shinawatra party, believed to be fielded in the election to help Pheu Thai Party gain party-list MP seats.
  • The Shinawatra camp’s election aspirations could be seriously hurt if Thai Raksa Chart were to be dissolved.

External Link: