Thailand. Ahead of the March elections, the country's
prime minister, as well as military junta leader Prayuth
Chanocha, announced his candidacy for the prime minister's
post. At the same time, opposition party Thai Raksa Chart
announced that former Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya would be
running for it. According to
CountryAAH, Ubolratana Rajakanya renounced his royal
title in connection with a US marriage in 1972, but later
moved back to Thailand.
Shortly after her candidacy was published, she received
sharp criticism from her brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn,
who said it was very inappropriate for a royal to enter
politics. The criticism was approved by the Election
Commission which disqualified her candidacy.
In March, Thai Raksa Chart was also disqualified since
the Constitutional Court decided to dissolve it. According
to the court, the party had broken the electoral law by
appointing Ubolratana Rajakanya as the prime ministerial
On March 24, elections were held in Thailand, which was
the first time since the 2014 military coup. The election
was between two blocs - the parties supporting the military
junta and those supporting the opposition. The former have
the most supporters among royalists and the urban middle
class, while the opposition parties have the most voters in
Since the military junta itself appoints all 250 seats in
the Senate, according to a constitutional change made after
the military coup, the opposition's chances of winning the
election were small.
In May, the Maha Vajiralong barley, with the regent name
Rama X, was formally crowned at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
He has been the king of the country since his father
Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away in 2016. However, the
coronation ceremony has had to wait with regard to a grief
period for the former king. In connection with the
coronation, Maha Vajiralongkorn married the Deputy Chief of
the King's personal bodyguard Suthida Tidjai. The wedding
was the fourth for the nearly 70-year-old king.
Only after the coronation ceremony could an official
election result be presented. According to media, 27 parties
entered Parliament's lower house - the House of
Representatives. Of these, For Thailand with 136 seats and
the military-supported People's State Power Party with 116
seats were the largest. The third largest party was the
opposition party New Future, which received 81 seats.
According to media, of the House of Representatives' 500
seats, a total of 245 seats were granted to Thailand and its
support parties. Since neither of the blocs could secure a
majority, both sides claimed government.
The result, however, meant that the People's State Power
Party, with 250 loyal senators, only needed an additional
ten seats from other members of the House of Representatives
when a total of 376 votes were required to form a
In June, Parliament's two chambers elected Prayuth
Chan-ocha as prime minister.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn gave his approval to the
government in July under Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
At the same time, media reported that the King was appointed
Minister of Defense.
In November, in the province of Yala in southern
Thailand, 15 people were killed in an attack on a security
check. The attack, which was suspected to have been carried
out by Muslim separatists, was described as one of the most
violent in several years in southern Thailand.