Thailand set to appoint crown prince as next king

Thailand's parliament invites crown prince to assume throne

The Thai parliament says Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will be invited to take his late father's place as king. Vajiralongkorn's dad, the greatly worshipped Bhumibol Adulyadej, who took the royal position in 1946, passed on October 13 at age 88 after numerous years of sick wellbeing.

"(The Crown Prince) was known to have already accepted the invitation to become king.

The 64-year-old prince can only be formally crowned after his father's cremation, which will take place next year.

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej died last month at the age of 88.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said shortly after Bhumibol's death, the prince told him he did not want to immediately become king.

Pornpetch will now seek an audience with Vajiralongkorn to formally invite him to ascend the throne.

While some Thais have expressed a desire for Princess Sirindhorn to take the throne, King Bhumibol anointed his son as heir to the throne in 1972 and never wavered from that decision.

"I am confident the Crown Prince will carry on his late father's legacy for the joy and benefit of all Thais", said Chanintorn Yaemsa-ard, 63, from Bangkok.

The parliament acted after Thailand's cabinet named the prince to be the new king.

"After this we will enter the parliamentary process", he said.

Vajiralongkorn has yet to comment publicly since his father's death, though he has participated in royal funeral ceremonies.

While preparations are being made for the appointment of the new king, the date of Prince Vajiralongkorn taking the throne is yet to be confirmed. He later graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in Canberra, Australia. In 1980 a trip to the United States for advanced military training sparked a love of flying.

The Crown Prince would wait for an appropriate time before he ascends the throne, Gen Prayut quoted the Crown Prince as saying on Oct 13.

The government has declared a full year of mourning for the late King and the people of Thailand have been paying their respects at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

But over his seven-decade reign, Bhumibol built up a powerful network of alliances, especially within Thailand's powerful military elite, and forged a reputation as an arbiter in times of crisis.

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