Thailand cabinet nominates Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn for king

Taipei,Nov29:Thailand’s cabinet has submitted the name of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to the nation’s rubber-stamp parliament, paving the way for his endorsement as king several weeks after his father’s death.

“The prime minister’s secretary will notify the National Legislative Assembly,” Prawit Wongsuwon, the deputy prime minister said.

According to procedure, the assembly speaker then has to formally invite the Crown Prince to become monarch before proclaiming the new king to the public.

“I expect the NLA president could be granted a royal audience either tomorrow or the day after,” said Prawit, who is the Thai junta’s number two, adding everything is “proceeding step-by-step”.

The death of the much loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 13 October plunged the nation into mourning. Most Thais have known no other monarch.

The king, who was the longest-serving head of state in the world when he died at the age of 88, played a stabilising role during decades of often-violent conflict in Thailand.

The crown prince’s invitation to become monarch will likely allay some public concerns that the succession might not go according to plan.

The prime minister said last month the prince had asked to delay the succession in order to grieve with the public.

The prince has not spoken publicly since his father’s death and news about his plans has come through the government.

The prince, who is in Germany, will fly back to Thailand later this week so an audience with the president of parliament can then take place, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.