After King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on 13th October 2016 the whole of Thailand is worried about the royal succession. The junta government of Thailand is asking its public to not worry about the empty throne since the procession of royal succession can begin soon after 15 days of mourning are over.
King Bhumibol is known as one of the world’s longest reigning monarchs. This farewell brough fear into the eyes of the Thai public because of their highly troubled nation and years of political instability.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha spoke after a cabinet meeting that it will be suitable to put into practice Section 23 regarding the succession only after the mourning period is over. Reuters quoted Prayuth to be saying,
“On the matter of succession, in accordance with the Constitution, citizens in Thailand and abroad should not be worried or concerned.”
According to Bangkok post, the prime minister was reported to start the process of succession after October 27th, that is when 15 days of mourning will be completed. The citizens of Thailand has been assured by Prayuth that the new Constitution will be endorsed royally by the king within the time period decided amongst the junta government’s interim charter.
A week after King Bhumibol had passed away, it was stated by the prime minister that the coronation of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralonkorn will happen after his father is cremated, followed by a year of mourning. Prince Maha Vajiralonkorn was selected as the heir by King Bhumibol several years before he died. However, if we go by the Constitution, the prince can be made the king even before his coronation takes place. But the prince has asked for a delay in the succession since he requires some time to mourn for the loss of his father. An announcement was made in the interim that Prem Tinsulanonda, the head of the powerful Privy Council would stand in as a regent.
Seven decades passed away with the king having Thailand’s demigod-like status and a concern was raised regarding the time period when the throne will be empty and the public were afraid of the government deciding to bring back the democratic rule. But it stated in Reuters that the prime minister gave assurance to Thailand’s citizens that no such plans are in action. He said,
“Nothing has changed, the policies of this government, the laws, including the elections, will be according to the road map.”
King Bhumibol had ruled Thailand since 1946. That was 70 years of reign. He survived the various political conflicts that took place in Thailand. He used a blend of majesty and a common touch in anchoring Southeast Asian country through the violent conditions with his home country and the communist revolutions next door.
In contrary to King Bhumibol, Prince Maha Vajiralonkorn does not have the same respect in the country as his father. He has a reputation of a playboy who has gotten married and then divorced three times. Moreover, he has spent most of his time outside Thailand, in Germany.