Sunday 23 January 2022
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Maha Vajiralongkorn becomes king of Thailand

Bangkok: On Thursday, Thailand Prince Mara Vajiralongkorn was crowned as of Thailand. Vajiralongkorn is the tenth of the Chakri dynasty, to also be known as Rama X.

Vajiralongkorn
Maha Vajiralongkorn in 2007 [Image: Amrufm]

At a formal ceremony at Dusit Palace Vajiralongkorn, 64, accepted an invitation from the National Legislative Assembly. He said “I would like to accept [this] invitation for the benefit of the Thai people.”

The new king’s father King Bhumibol had died 7 weeks ago at the of 88 after serving as the for more than 7 decades. Two years ago, the military gained power in a coup. King Bhumibol acted as the unifying figure of the Kingdom.

Following Bhumibol’s death, 96-year-old Prem Tinsulanonda served as regent. Tinsulanonda was the head of the royal advisory council. King Vajiralongkorn was not immediately crowned as the king after his father’s death; it was believed he needed time to grieve.

Paul Chambers, director of research at Chiang Mai’s Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs, said the interval served as a chance for the heir-apparent to solidify his strength before his ascension.

“The delay in his ascension to the throne served the purpose of shoring up public support for the new sovereign, giving some time for Thais to recover from the sudden departure of Bhumibol Adulyadej and thus making the son appear magnanimous in the people’s eyes,” he said. “Second, the delay has been used to put together a new coalition of aristocrats and military senior brass around the new sovereign.”

The new has lived in Germany for many years. He is immune from public criticism due to the lese majeste legislation, which provides for up to 15 years in jail. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced the retrospective commencement of the new reign from 13 October.

Bhumibol is to be cremated around a year from his death.

From Wikinews under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence and Paul Millar of Southeast Asia Globe

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