King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand passed away from an illness last week at the age of 88-years-old. His reign of power lasted nearly 70 years and is responsible for turning the country from a poor nation into the second biggest economy in Southeast Asia. Now that he is dead, his son Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is scheduled to take over as the new king of Thailand. Vajiralongkorn apparently wants to continue grieving, so he has not taken his father’s throne just yet. According to the military government of Thailand, their scheduled elections are not going to be delayed because of this.
The Thai public doesn’t have the same respect and admiration for Vajiralongkorn as they do for his father. But the military “junta” government is still planning to stick with their scheduled 2017 general election, according to the Thai media. Many hoped the king’s death would cause the junta to delay the election and create a way for a civilian government to return to the country. But it doesn’t look like this is going to happen.
As of right now, General Prem Tinsulanonda, 96, will stand in for the king until the prince is formally coronated next year. The remains of the king are scheduled to be cremated after the country’s official one year of mourning takes place. Once the remains are finally cremated, the prince will be formally coronated and become the new king of Thailand.
The military government is being very strict as to regulate how Thai people mourn the king’s death. They don’t want anyone to partake in joyful events for at least one month and they want them to dress for one year as if they’re mourning. With all these canceled events, it could damage the country’s economy a bit. But the government claims it will gradually go back to normal after the first 30 days is up.