Thai party fighting for survival after gaffe with princess

BANGKOK (AP) — The Thai political party that took the unprecedented and ultimately unsuccessful step of nominating a princess as its candidate for prime minister is fighting against moves to dissolve it.

The Thai Raksa Chart Party on Wednesday appealed for the Election Commission to hear its defense after unconfirmed reports circulated that the state body would forward to the courts a recommendation for dissolution.

The party on Feb. 8 named Princess Ubolratana Mahidol its candidate for prime minister for the March 24 general election. But King Maha Vajiralongkorn just hours later issued an edict effectively banning the action because it was inappropriate and unconstitutional.

The party then avowed its fealty to the king, but its opponents urged its dissolution.

Thailand is preparing for its first election since a 2014 military coup.