Crown prince urges calm over suc­ces­sion

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THAI­LAND’S crown prince has urged peo­ple not to “worry” about his sur­prise de­ci­sion to de­lay be­ing pro­claimed king fol­low­ing the death his beloved fa­ther, the coun­try’s junta leader said.

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 on on Oc­to­ber 13 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 peo­ple.

In­stead 96-year-old former gen­eral Prem Tin­su­lanonda, who headed King Bhu­mi­bol’s Privy Coun­cil, was an­nounced as re­gent.

On Oc­to­ber 14 junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha said the crown prince sum­moned him and Mr 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,” Mr Prayut said.

“He said at this time ev­ery­one is sad so ev­ery side should wait ... be­fore mak­ing any sud­den change.”

The “ap­pro­pri­ate time to pro­ceed” will be after King Bhu­mi­bol’s fu­neral and cre­ma­tion, Mr Prayut said, quot­ing the crown prince.

While a coro­na­tion was not ex­pected un­til after an ex­tended fu­neral pe­riod for the late king, Mr Prayut did not spec­ify whether prince would for­mally take the throne be­fore then.

The re­gent Mr Prem is re­mark­ably spry given his ad­vanced years and re­mains a mas­ter po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tor.

He has been at the cen­tre of Thai­land’s treach­er­ous pol­i­tics for decades, first as gen­eral and then as a prime min­is­ter and a staunch King

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