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Thai Raksa Chart party was closely aligned with Thaksin Shinawatra, the ex-premier who lost power in 2006.

Thailand’s constitutional court has ordered the dissolution of an opposition party for nominating the king’s sister as its candidate for prime minister in the country’s election on 24 March.

“The court has ordered that the party be dissolved,” Judge Taweekiet Meenakanit said in the ruling, which also banned the executive board members of Thai Raksa Chart party from politics for 10 years.

The Election Commission had asked the court to dissolve the party after it nominated Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi for prime minister in the election, the first since a 2014 coup. On the same day as the nomination, her brother King Maha Vajiralongkorn issued a royal order calling the nomination highly inappropriate and unconstitutional.

Thai Raksa Chart was a newly-formed party closely aligned with ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who has lived in exile since he lost power in 2006 and was charged with corruption. Several prominent members of Pheu Thai, the party Thaksin founded, switched over to Thai Raksa when it was formed last year.

Thai Raksa has pitched itself to appeal to younger, progressive voters. In several constituencies, Pheu Thai did not put up candidates in order to make way for Thai Raksa candidates, to increase their chances of a majority in parliament. However, it now means that many constituencies are now without a pro-Thaksin party candidate.

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