EC rejects Thai Raksa Chart PM nomination

Photographers prepare for a briefing by the Thai Raksa Chart Party at its head office in Bangkok on Monday. The briefing was later cancelled because not enough members showed up. (Photo by Wisit Thamngern)

The Election Commission has endorsed the prime ministerial candidates of all parties but one -- Thai Raksa Chart -- which may be dissolved as a result.

The EC said in a statement released after the meeting that 69 prime ministerial candidates of 45 parties had been approved.

The focus was on Thai Raksa Chart after its nomination of Princess Ubolratana as its PM candidate and the royal announcement was issued hours later that no royal family member could get involved in politics.

The EC rejected Thai Raksa Chart's candidate on grounds that royal family members are above politics and cannot hold political positions.

The EC’s announcement on Monday was final as all parties cannot appeal the decision. But controversies over Thai Raksa Chart’s nomination are far from over.

EC president Ittiporn Boonpracong said the EC will decide whether Thai Raksa Chart violated the Political Parties Act by nominating the princess, an act that could be deemed hostile to the constitutional monarchy rule.

A source at the EC said the issue will be discussed on Tuesday but is unlikely to be concluded soon.

Thai Raksa Chart could be disbanded by the Constitutional Court if the EC finds it violated the law and forwards the case for a court ruling.

If the court agrees with the EC, the party may be dissolved. If that happens, its executives could be banned from voting and running as party candidates for 10 years or for life, depending on the court’s decision.

Earlier, at least two people asked the EC to disband Thai Raksa Chart even though the EC is empowered to take up the issue for consideration by itself without having to wait for someone to file a request.  

Paiboon Nittitawan, leader of the People Reform Party, submitted a letter to the EC on Saturday, asking it to disband the party. Activist Srisuwan Chanya did the same on Monday.

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