In regional news, it has been revealed that the sister of Thailand’s king has joined the race to be the country’s next prime minister.
Media reports say that Princess Ubolratana Mahidol, 67, will stand for a party allied to divisive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, according to registration papers.
This unprecendented move reflects her decision that breaks with the tradition of the Thai royal family publicly staying out of politics.
Thailand’s election is scheduled to take place on 24 March.
The election is being closely watched as the first chance for Thailand to return to democracy after five years under military rule.
Who is Princess Ubolratana Mahidol?
According to media reports, she was born in 1951 as Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi and is the oldest child of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
After marrying an American in 1972, she gave up her royal title and moved to the US. After her divorce she returned to Thailand and once again started participating in royal life.
The princess engages actively in social media and has also starred in several Thai movies.
She had three children, one of whom died in the 2004 tsunami while the other two still live in the US.
The princess has registered for the Thai Raksa Chart party, which is loyal to the controversial Shinawatra family that has dominated Thai politics for years.
Who else is running in the election?
The country’s current prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, also announced on Friday that he would be running for prime minister in the current election.