The sister of the King of Thailand has been nominated as a prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming general election, which is scheduled to take place on March 24th.
67-year-old Princess Ubolratana is the older sister of King Maha Vajiralongkorn and the oldest daughter of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The Thai Raksa Chart Party on Friday named the Princess as its nominee to be the next prime minister. The party is allied to former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and now lives in exile.
An executive of the party said in a statement that it was deeply honored the princess had accepted its nomination.
Princess Ubolratana is said to be close to Thaksin. Media outlets in Thailand and other countries reported the Princess sat next to him while they watched a World Cup soccer match in Moscow in July.
The Thai royal family is greatly revered by the people of Thailand. Law bans criticism of any member of the family.
It had been widely believed interim Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the leader of the ruling military junta, would serve another term. He led a 2014 coup as army chief that overthrew the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's sister.
The military-led interim government has since revised the Constitution and changed the election system to give itself an advantage. But this announcement changes the situation completely.