Thailand’s game of thrones returns. A political earthquake ripped through Thailand Friday, when Thai Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, the eldest daughter of beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was announced as a prime minister candidate in Thailand’s first elections after five years of military rule. It’s a stunning development because Thai royals never put the monarchy’s legitimacy with the public at risk by openly getting involved in politics. More surprising, the princess is leading a party loyal to self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a royalist coup in 2006 (and whose sister, serving as a proxy prime minister, was ousted in 2014). Ubolratana will be pitted directly against the current prime minister and the leader of the 2014 coup, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha.
For nearly a century, Thailand has had a delicate balance of power between the military, the political class and the monarchy. Under the 70-year reign of King Bhumibol, the crown inte