King cremation set
The date for the cremation of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been set for 26 October, paving the way for the long-awaited coronation of his son King Maha Vajiralongkorn – and the far-off promise of a general election. Thailand is in the midst of a oneyear mourning period after the beloved King Bhumibol came to the end of his 70year reign when he passed away last October. The military government, which seized power in a 2014 coup, will likely use the remaining months of the mourning period to shore up its legitimacy and authority by binding itself to both the late king’s legacy and the new king’s authority, according to Paul Chambers, a Thai politics expert at northern Thailand’s Naresuan University. “They will use the cremation, they’ll use the coronation, in order to justify why they need to stay in power as guardians of the palace – and guardians of the new sovereign,” he said.