Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha on Thursday said the Thai Crown prince has told him he would like to take some time to grieve with the nation before accepting the invitation to become the new king. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88, who was the monarch for 70 years, died this afternoon.
“His Royal Highness would like to wait for an appropriate time,” General Prayuth said. The National Legislative Assembly today met and acknowledged the passing of Adulyadej and observed silence for nine minutes as King Bhumibol was the ninth regent of the Chakri dynasty.
Constitutionally, the next step would have been for National Assembly of Thailand (NLA) president to invite Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to become the new king.
According to Section 23 of the 2007 constitution, when the throne becomes vacant and the king has already appointed his Heir under the 1924 Palace Law on Succession, the cabinet shall notify the Parliament president who will convene members for acknowledgement.
The parliament president will then invite the Heir to ascend the throne and proclaim him King, according to the provision.
Adulyadej had appointed Prince Vajiralongkorn as the Heir to the Throne on December 28, 1972 after which he became Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. However, the NLA postponed its scheduled agenda.