‘Thai king’s death will not post­pone elec­tion’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

BANGKOK: A gen­eral elec­tion will take place in Thai­land next year as planned by the rul­ing junta, lo­cal me­dia re­ported yes­ter­day, while Thais grieved over the death of King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej, who died last week af­ter seven decades on the throne.

The death of King Bhu­mi­bol had raised ques­tions over whether a re­turn to civil­ian rule could be de­layed and elec­tions planned for 2017 might be pushed back by the mil­i­tary-led gov­ern­ment.

Thai­land has be­gun a year of mourn­ing for King Bhu­mi­bol, whose death at the age of 88 was an­nounced by the palace on Thursday.

The cabi­net has asked that “fes­tiv­i­ties” be avoided for the next 30 days and peo­ple have been asked to wear black dur­ing this pe­riod.

The Bangkok Post news­pa­per re­ported yes­ter­day that the monarch’s death had not af­fected plans for a gen­eral elec­tion next year.

“The gov­ern­ment has reaf­firmed its com­mit­ment to fol­low­ing the roadmap for gen­eral elec­tions sched­uled for late next year,” the pa­per said.

Weer­a­chon Sukond­ha­p­ati­pak, a spokesman for the mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment, de­clined to com­ment on the mat­ter.

“This is not the time to dis­cuss pol­i­tics,” he told Reuters.

King Bhu­mi­bol earned the de­vo­tion of Thais for his ef­forts to help the ru­ral poor, in­clud­ing agri­cul­tural devel­op­ment projects. He was also seen as a sta­bil­is­ing fig­ure in a coun­try of­ten wracked by po­lit­i­cal tur­moil.

The mil­i­tary-led gov­ern­ment has as­sured Thais fol­low­ing the king’s death that the econ­omy and gov­ern­ment will work as nor­mal.

“Ev­ery­thing will pro­ceed ac­cord­ing to the roadmap,” deputy prime min­is­ter Wis­sanu Krea-ngam said in an in­ter­view broad­cast on state tele­vi­sion on Friday. – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.