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Thai princess disqualified as candidate for prime minister

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Thai princess disqualified as candidate for prime minister
Thai princess disqualified as candidate for prime minister. picture-alliance/ZumaPress/P. Changchai
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Thailand's Election Commission on Monday officially disqualified Princess Ubolratana Mahidol from running for prime minister in the upcoming election.

The princess announced her candidacy on Friday, stunning the country and sparking questions over whether she would be allowed to enter politics as a member of the royal family. She relinquished her royal status years ago to marry an American citizen, but is still widely depicted and regarded as a royal.

"Every member of the royal family comes from within the application of the same rule requiring the monarch to be above politics and to be politically neutral," the Election Commission said.

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the princess' younger brother, had earlier condemned the bid as "inappropriate."

Hours after her announcement, the king issued a statement that was read out on all Thai television stations.

The princess had been nominated by Thai Raksa Chart, a party created by supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin, who now lives in self-imposed exile, was toppled from power in a military coup in 2014.

The upcoming March 24 election is the first general election for the country since.

Read more: Thailand lifts ban on political activities ahead of vote

ng/rt (dpa, Reuters)

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