Thaksin-linked candidates qualify to run for Thai prime minister in March 24 polls

Supporters of Pheu Thai Party attend the election campaign in Bangkok on Feb 15, 2019.
Supporters of Pheu Thai Party attend the election campaign in Bangkok on Feb 15, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK(BLOOMBERG) - Pro-democracy allies of exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra and the current prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, were among 68 candidates cleared to run in Thailand's first election since the 2014 military coup, according to the Election Commission late on Friday (Feb 15).

Leading parties chose their representatives weeks ago, but Thailand's election rules require that candidates be approved by the commission, based on a list of character and other requirements.

Prayut, the junta leader who seized power from a government led by Thaksin's sister, was cleared to run in next month's contest.

Sudarat Keyuraphan, Chadchart Sittipunt and Chaikasem Nitisiri from the Thaksin-linked Pheu Thai party also won approval, along with former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Thai Raksa Chart, another opposition party connected to Thaskin, did not field any candidates, after King Maha Vajiralongkorn this month rejected the party's shock pick of his sister, Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya.

 

Also late on Friday, a court lifted a broadcasting ban imposed on Voice TV, a Thaksin-linked station, as it considers the merits of a 15-day shutdown handed down by a government regulator.