King cre­ma­tion set

Southeast Asia Globe - - Panorama -

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.

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