Election Commission may meet on Monday to discuss Thai Raksa Chart party’s controversial nominee for prime minister

The EC is expected to discuss the Thai Raksa Chart party’s nomination of Princess Ubolratana as its sole prime ministerial candidate, but the EC’s secretary-general, Jarungvith Phumma, declined to responElection Commission may meet on Monday to discuss Thai Raksa Chart party’s controversial nominee for prime ministerd directly when asked about the pro-Thaksin party’s surprise proposal, saying only that all issues pending with the EC, including matters of legality, would be discussed.

One legal question is whether the EC is authorized to consider the qualifications of the prime ministerial candidates proposed by political parties because the law only specifies that the EC is empowered to announce the list of the qualified candidates. It also is charged with enforcing electoral regulations concerning campaigning, one such regulation forbids parties or candidates from using the Monarchy for campaigning.

Regarding the Thai Raksa Chart party’s prime ministerial nomination, a well-informed source said that the EC might have two options.
One option is to consider the complaint filed by Mr. Paibul Nititawan, leader of the People’s Reform party, accusing the Thak Raksa Chart party of breaching Rule 17 of the EC regulations which prohibits candidates or parties from using the Monarchy for electioneering.
The other option is to launch its own probe into the matter, in accordance with Article 41 of the Election Commission organic law, said the source.

A Royal Command was issued by HM the King on Friday night saying, essentially, that involving a member of the Royal Family in politics is highly inappropriate as it is at odds with the long-held tradition that the Monarchy and the Royal Family are above politics.
On Saturday, the Thai Raksa Chart party issued a statement pledging to comply with the Royal Command and offering its thanks to the Princess.

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