Regent to stand in as Thai Crown Prince asks for time

Bangkok, Oct 15 (IANS) The head of Thailand’s Royal Advisory Council will stand in as regent before Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn formally succeeds his father, late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has said.

The constitution specified that president of Privy Council would act as temporary regent when the throne became vacant, Xinhua news agency quoted Wisanu as saying on Friday.

Though he did not mention the specific name, the current Privy Council president, 96-year old Prem Tinsulanonda, is to act as temporary regent, if there is any necessary occasion.

Wisanu emphasised that there was no uncertainty about the succession, but there must be a regent for the time being in order not to create a gap.

He said the regency will not last long and end when the crown prince succeeds the throne.

“Since the Privy Council president is to act as temporary regent, the council have to elect a new one to act as the president,” Wisanu added.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the crown prince wants to grieve with the people and leave the formal succession for “an appropriate time”.

According to Thai Constitution, the Cabinet shall notify president of parliament, or now the president of National Legislative Assembly (NLA) that the throne became vacant and late king had already appointed an heir apparent, after which the president will convene members for acknowledgement and will invite him to ascend the throne.

Considering the crown prince’s request, the government has not notified the NLA president yet but when the right time comes, the government will be ready to move on with the process, according to Wissanu.

The world’s longest-reigning monarch, King Bhumibol, died on Thursday in Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital at the age of 88.



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