Thai Crown Prince urges calm over succession: PM
Bangkok: Thailand’s Crown Prince has urged people not to “worry” about his surprise decision to delay being proclaimed king following the death of his beloved father, the country’s Prime Minister said on Saturday. The move, which led to the appointment of a regent, has spurred rumours and uncertainty in a nation whose recent history is studded with coups, political intrigues and street protests. Against that backdrop, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died last Thursday aged 88, represented stability and moral rectitude to many Thais and his death is being mourned deeply across the country. The 64-year-old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is the king’s named successor, but has asked to delay formally assuming the throne while he mourns with the Thai people.
Instead 96-year-old former general Prem Tinsulanonda, who headed Bhumibol’s Privy Council, was announced as regent. On Saturday Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the Crown Prince summoned him and Prem earlier in the evening to dampen unease over the hiatus in assuming the throne. “He asked the people not to be confused or worry about the country’s administration or the succession,” the Prime Minister said in televised statement. AFP