Thai parliament approves Prince Vajiralongkorn as new king
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Thai parliament approves Prince Vajiralongkorn as new king

September 17, 2019

The Thai government has given its approval
to Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to become the country’s new king. The decision comes slightly a month after
the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 13th. Our Kim Jung-soo has the details. Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly has
decided to formally invite 64-year-old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkon to succeed King
Bhumibol Adulyadej and become the 10th king of Thailand’s two-century-old Chakrin dynasty,
according to Assembly President Pornpeth Wichitcholchai. Wichitcholchai said in a televised address
on Tuesday… that the decision had been made at a special parliamentary session earlier
in the day, after the cabinet had made a formal request to parliament to begin the process
of installing a new king. The crown prince will now have to formally
accept the invitation in order to assume the throne. According to Reuters, the defense minister
said that could happen within the next one to two days, after the prince returns to Bangkok
from his current residence in Germany. King Bhumibol himself designated the crown
prince as his successor in 1972. It is worth noting, however, that in accordance
with Thai law, the crown prince can be formally crowned only after his father’s royal cremation,
which will take place next year. Under Thai law, if there is a pre-designated
successor after the death of a king, the cabinet informs parliament of the designation, and
the parliament then extends the invitation to the candidate to finalize the succession
process. This time, however, the process took an unexpected
detour, because the heir-apparent asked for “time to prepare” and grieve with the public
upon the news of the king’s passing, leaving 96-year-old Prem Tinsulanonda, the former
president of King Bhumibol’s privy council, to carry out the royal obligations in the
interim. Pundits had expressed concern that the vacancy
could result in a power struggle, but with the announcement on Tuesday, the prospects
for that seem slim. Kim Jung-soo, Arirang News.

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