Recent news confirms that Thailand’s politics took a new turn with the nomination of the king’s sister as the Prime Minister candidate for the March 24 general election. Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, the 67-year-old sister to King Maha Vajiralongkornm, will be partaking in the election and turn Thailand’s existing political scenario upside down.
The reason being, since 1932 Thailand has identified itself as a constitutional monarchy and even though the royal family had a say over the governing procedure they had consistently kept themselves out of politics.
Now, with the king’s sister’s name illustrated on the registration papers, the future of Thai politics is unknown. Currently, as per reports Ubolratana will be running for the ejected party of Thaksin Shinawatra and will compete against Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the Prime Minister of the military junta.
Initially, people assumed that the election will be contested between the royalist-military establishment and the overthrown Thaksin’s populists. However, with the latter nominating Ubolratana, the scenario is basically black and white. Previously, there was ongoing conflicts amigo the locals who were loyal to the populists and royalist elites.
Going on for 15 years, these conflicts resulted in frequent coups, military clashes and street violence. However, now that the Populists have included a member of the royal family in the scenario, the government is intrigued whether the elections will lead to more fights or peace.
Ubolratana, as per reports, had given up her royal title back in the year 1972 after she married an American citizen. Soon after she went to live with her husband Peter Jensen in the States, and resided there for a span of 26 years. After her divorce in 1998, she once again came back to Thailand to resume her royal duties, and this year will be contesting for the country’s next Prime Minister coming March.