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Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn


Thailand’s parliament has invited Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to take the country’s throne.

It approved the sending of a formal invitation, which Prince Vajiralongkorn has to accept before becoming the country’s new king.

The deeply revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on October 13, plunging the Asian country into mourning.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was widely expected to succeed his father, but officials had earlier said he wanted to postpone it by at least a year.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

The official reason given was that the prince wanted to give the Thai people time to mourn his father before he became king.

According to correspondents, Thailand was left in an odd constitutional limbo as Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, the undisputed heir, should have succeeded his father immediately.

In the past doubts have been expressed by senior officials over how the crown prince can perform the role played by King Bhumibol for 70 years.

The monarchy occupies a pivotal place in Thailand’s political order.

King Bhumibol had been seen as a unifying figure amid periods of political unrest, including during the most recent military coup in 2014.

The leader of Thailand’s parliament, the National Legislative Assembly, is expected to meet Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in the next few days to formally invite him. Once he accepts, his succession would then be announced to the public.

However, it is still not clear when that will happen.

Former PM Prem Tinsulanonda is currently standing in as regent.


According to Thai government officials, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn wants his coronation held off for at least a year.

Following King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death on October 13, the crown prince wants more time to mourn his father.

Former PM Prem Tinsulanonda is standing in as regent.

Current PM Prayuth Chan-ocha sought to reassure Thais about the succession in a TV address on October 15, saying they should not worry.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

This issue was discussed when Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn summoned the regent and Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha for an audience, according to Gen. Prayuth.

Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, 64, “asked the people not to be confused or worry about the country’s administration or even about the succession”, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said in his TV statement.

“He said at this time everyone is sad, he is still sad, so every side should wait until we pass this sad time.”

Questions about the crown prince’s capabilities have been raised in the past, although the strict lese-majeste laws prevents any open discussion of these.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha took power in a military coup in 2014 which overthrew the civilian government. He has promised elections in 2017.

The monarchy is seen as a unifying force in Thailand at times of political upheaval and King Bhumibol, who died aged 88, was a figure revered by many Thais.

The military government has made clear that Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn will be the new king, but it just isn’t clear when this will happen.

Thailand is beginning a year of official mourning, and entertainment such as TV shows and sports events has been canceled or toned down.

Many Thais are wearing black and mourners have continued to converge on the Grand Palace in central Bangkok to pay their respects to King Bhumibol by signing a book of condolences.

It is unclear when the king’s cremation will take place but it is thought the ceremony could be months away.