The 67-year-old princess, the eldest daughter of the late King

Bhumibol Adulyadej and sister of the present King, married an American and relinquished her title in 1972. After returning to Th

ailand in 2001 following her divorce, she resumed royal duties and enjoyed prestige among the Thai people, although her royal title has not yet been restored.

Around 20 military coups have taken place in Thailand since the country became a constitutional mo

narchy in 1932. The Constitution was also amended in 2017 during the military government’s rule.

In this context, the Thai Raksa Chart party (Thai Save The Nation, or TSN) tried to break the v

icious circle in Thailand’s politics by nominating Ubolratana as the prime ministerial candid

ate. The probability of her winning the election would have been high if she were allowed to contest. Her victory would have brought back political sta

bility to some extent. TSN is linked to former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who enjoys popular appeal in the country. Thaksin carried out several pol

icies that benefited the grass roots and won him their support. Even though he was ousted in 2006, his influence remains strong.

In the upcoming election, I believe pro-Thaksin parties can still have high public app

roval ratings. But considering the latest military-drafted constitution which gives considerable

rights to bureaucrats and military, it is still not known whether a pro-Thaksin politician can be elected prime minister.

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