The military junta’s scheme for Thailand’s election is back on track

Feb 14, 2019

FOR THE military junta that has ruled Thailand since a coup in 2014, it was a day of ups and downs. On the morning of February 8th the Thai Raksa Chart party submitted just one candidate to the Election Commission as a potential prime minister: Princess Ubolratana Mahidol. The likely outcome of an election slated for March 24th seemed to change in an instant. The junta’s efforts to orchestrate the contest in favour of its leader, Prayuth Chan-ocha, the current prime minister (pictured), appeared doomed. The princess would carry all before her. But that evening her younger brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, intervened publicly and damningly. He described his sister’s decision to run for office as “inappropriate”. The party fell into line a day later. The Election Commission then obediently rejected her nomination on February 11th.

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