Prem Tinsulanonda, the regent who will be caretaker of Thailand’s monarchy following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is a sprightly 96-year-old known as the face of the country’s traditionalist establishment. The regency is necessary after the government said Bhumibol’s son and heir apparent, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, did not want to be immediately named king to give the nation time to mourn his father’s death.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Thailand’s Constitution mandates that the head of the Privy Council, an advisory body to the monarch, becomes regent. Prem is a former prime minister who has headed the Privy Council since 1998. He has a reputation for clean governance and for favoring compromise over confrontation.