Thailand’s crown prince invited to ascend the throne
Thailand’s parliament yesterday invited Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to become the next king, clearing up any lingering uncertainty after the surprise announcement that he would delay his proclamation so that he could mourn his father’s passing.
THAILAND’S parliament yesterday invited Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to become the next king, resolving lingering anxiety over his accession following his father’s death last month.
The country has been plunged into mourning since widely revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on October 13, ending a remarkable seven-decade reign and removing a key pillar of unity in a bitterly divided nation.
Yesterday’s move ends a period of uncertainty sparked by the junta making the surprise announcement after King Bhumibol’s death that the prince had asked to delay his official proclamation so he could mourn.
“I will invite the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to succeed to the throne and become king of the Thai people,” Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, head of the rubber-stamp National Legislative Assembly, said.
Lawmakers then stood up and replied, “Long live the king.”
The parliamentary endorsement came after Thailand’s cabinet officially submitted Prince Vajiralongkorn’s name earlier in the day.
Prawit Wongsuwan, deputy prime
minister and the junta’s number two, said the prince’s ascension was “proceeding step-by-step” according to the country’s arcane succession rules.
According to protocol, the assembly speaker will seek a royal audience with the prince to invite him to ascend the throne, the last step before being proclaimed the new monarch.
Mr Prawit said that would happen “either tomorrow or the day after”.
Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, 64, has been the named successor to King Bhumibol for more than four decades.
He spends much of his time outside the kingdom, particularly in southern Germany where he owns property.
A military source told AFP that Prince Vajiralongkorn was still currently in Germany. –
Thai lawmakers stand up to hail the new
king at Parliament House in Bangkok yesterday.