Thailand is facing a period of heightened political uncertainty after its king publicly discouraged his sister from running for prime minister.
The headlines started pouring in on Friday when the Thai Raksa Party, a populist group associated with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, announced that Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, the elder sister of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, would run as its prime ministerial candidate in the March 24 general election. Shortly thereafter, current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha who represents the ruling military government, also threw his hat into the ring under the pro-military Palang Pracharat Party.
But then the king came out against his sister's candidacy, saying in a statement that it was "inappropriate" for members of the royal family to enter politics.
Then, over the weekend, people on the ground reported sightings of military vehicles around Bangkok, fueling worries that some sort of power grab could be brewing. "There's been so many coups in Thai history that when you see military vehicles on the street, something must be up," said Paul Chambers, a lecturer for international affairs at Thailand's Naresuan University.