The sister of Thailand’s king has said she is “saddened” that her bid to be the country’s next prime minister has created “a problem that shouldn’t happen in this day and age”.
Princess Ubolratana was disqualified by the country’s Election Commission yesterday.
Her unprecedented nomination broke with the tradition of the Thai royal family publicly staying out of politics.
King Vajiralongkorn had called her bid “extremely inappropriate”.
Posting on her private Instagram account, the princess wrote: “I am sad that the sincere intention to work for the country and us Thais has created a problem that shouldn’t happen in this day and age.”
Last week, Thailand’s election panel said it had excluded Princess Ubolratana because “every member of the royal family comes within the application of the same rule requiring the monarch to be above politics and to be politically neutral”.
The stance echoed a palace statement, which said the “involvement of a high-ranking member of the royal family in politics… is considered extremely inappropriate”.
The announcement that Princess Ubolratana would stand for election sent shockwaves through Thai politics last Friday.
She was nominated by Thai Raksa Charty, a party allied to divisive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thailand’s election commission is now weighing whether it should be disbanded.
Party leader Preechaphol Pongpanit has said it did everything “sincerely, with good intentions”, but added: “Above us is His Majesty and the monarchy. We are ready to be investigated.”
The upcoming March election will be the first vote since current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha took power in a 2014 military coup, overthrowing the democratic government.