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'I'm sorry'- Thai princess apologises after ill-fated run for PM

AFP  |  Bangkok 

A Thai has apologised after her short-lived candidacy for earned a royal rebuke from her brother -- the -- and sent jitters across the politically febrile country just weeks before elections.

has been mired in political drama since Friday, when Ubolratana's name was submitted as a prime ministerial candidate by the

The party is allied with the powerful Shinawatra clan, which has won all elections since 2001 but whose patron, the billionaire ex-Thaksin, lives in self-exile to avoid jail.

Ubolratana's unprecedented bid to enter frontline unravelled within hours after decried the entry of a royal into the political fray as "highly inappropriate".

Thailand's monarchy is seen as above politics, although royals have intervened in public during times of political crisis.

The was disqualified as a prime ministerial candidate by the on Monday, which cited the royal command. It is now discussing whether to refer Thai Raksa Chart to the consitutional court for dissolution.

In an post late Tuesday the 67-year-old princess apologised for her role in the drama.

"I'm sorry that my genuine intention to help work for the country and fellow Thai people has created a problem that shouldn't happen in this era," she wrote.

It was tagged with a hashtag: "#howcomeitsthewayitis".

is the first-born of former Bhumibol Adulyadej, but she gave up her royal titles when she married an American in 1972.

After her divorce, she moved back to where she is regarded by the Thai public as a part of the royal family.

While she said she was exercising her rights as a commoner to stand for premier, the palace statement said she is "still a member of the House of Chakri", referring to the name of the dynasty.

The monarchy in is considered sacred and revered by its people, and is under the protection of draconian lese majeste laws. The king's word is considered final.

The scuttling of her candidacy and potential moves to dissolve the is a blow to Shinawatra's political machine.

The party was set to add to the of the bigger Shinawatra electoral vehicle, Pheu Thai, in an election where secondary parties are targeting seats via the party list system.

and his sister -- who was overthrown in the 2014 coup -- live abroad to avoid convictions they say are politically motivated.

Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who toppled Yingluck's government, is running for in the March 24 poll.

Party executives from Thai Raksa Chart have expressed contrition after the upheaval, but said they would challenge any attempt to disband the party. A affiliated with the Shinawatras was also in the crosshairs this week.

Voice TV, owned by Thaksin's son Ponthongtae, was ordered Tuesday by the (NBTC) to go off-air for 15 days after two of its programs caused "confusion and provocation".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 11:10 IST
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