Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn (or Rama X) has denounced his sister, Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi after she announced her bid to become the country’s next prime minister.
King Rama X made a televised address about his sister on Friday saying, “Involvement of a high-ranking member of the Royal Family in politics, in whatever way, is an act that conflicts with the country’s traditions, customs and culture and therefore is considered extremely inappropriate.”
“All royal family members adhere to the same principles … and cannot take any political office, because it contradicts the intention of the constitution,” he added.
As a result of her younger brother’s message, she said she would be running as a commoner and not as a member of the Thai Royal Family in a general election that has been long-delayed since the military junta took power in a 2014 coup.
The King’s older sister announced her bold bid to become Prime Minister of Thailand on Friday remarking, “I want to see Thailand moving forward, being admired and accepted by other nations.
“I want Thai people to have the right and the opportunity for good living and happiness all over. Thank you, with love and sincerity to all of you. I wish you all luck and happiness.”
The eldest child of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit will run as a candidate of the Thai Raksa Chart Party, claiming she is exercising her right as a Thai citizen. However, many believe the remarks by her brother will ultimately lead to her disqualification.
Ubolratana Rajakanya, 67, was not present when the Thai Raksa Chart Party submitted the paperwork for her candidacy. She did say on social media, “I have relinquished my royal titles and lived as a commoner.
“I have accepted the Thai Raksa Chart party nomination for prime minister to show my rights and freedom without any privileges above other fellow Thai citizens under the constitution.”
On Saturday, Ubolratana, who renounced her royal titles in the 70s when she married an American, said thanked the Thai people on Instagram saying she was grateful to “all Thai people for your love and support during the past day.”
This marks the first time in the country’s history that a member of the Thai Royal Family has directly become involved in politics and ran for office.