Thailand’s crown prince to be confirmed king Dec 1

Bangkok, Nov 2 (IANS) Thailand is making preparations for Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to be named as the country’s new king on December 1, a media report said.

Once confirmed as king, he is expected to endorse a new, military-drafted constitution and to start appointing his own team of senior royal officials, BBC reported on Wednesday.

His father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, died on October 13, aged 88.

King Bhumibol had served 70 years as head of state, and was seen as a stabilising figure, promoting economic development and social harmony in a country hit by coups.

The government has declared a year-long official mourning period.

Following King Bhumibol’s death, Vajiralongkorn had delayed taking the crown in order to join the people in mourning.

The crown prince, 64, is much less well known to Thais than his father, and does not have his widespread popularity.

During the interim period, Prem Tinsulanonda, a 96-year-old former Prime Minister who was head of the privy council, is acting as regent. The council is a powerful body that acts to advise the monarch.–IANS

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