Thailand invites crown prince to become new king

Parliament asks Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to take the throne six weeks after his father was laid to rest.

    Thailand's parliament invited Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn to be the new king on Tuesday, completing a formal step for the heir apparent to take the throne following the death of his father last month.

    Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, president of the National Legislative Assembly, said in a televised session that the prince would be invited to ascend the throne after the cabinet earlier in the day formally asked parliament to begin the process of installing a new monarch.

    Thais urged to participate in late king’s commemorations

    Members of the assembly stood up during a short parliamentary session and shouted: "Long live the king!"

    The prince will have to accept parliament's invitation in order for him to be proclaimed king, according to established procedure.

    Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said: "We expect an audience [with the prince] within the next one to two days."

    Two senior military sources said Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn would fly into Bangkok on Wednesday from Germany, where he has a home.

    Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay, reporting from Bangkok, said the process would take a few days before the new king is announced. 

    "Prince Maha's name was put forward today to be the next king of Thailand, following that, the next step is for a letter to be sent to the parliament, and the chairman of parliament would then invite the crown prince for an audience to invite him to be the next king," our correspondent said. 

    "But we are not expecting all this to happen in the next couple of days, but might possibly happen on Thursday."

    READ MORE: Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies at 88

    Vajiralongkorn's father, the much-revered Bhumibol Adulyadej, who took the throne in 1946, died on October 13 at age of 88 after many years of ill health.

    The prince, who will be known as King Rama X, or the 10th king of the 234-year-old Chakri Dynasty, can only be formally crowned after his father's royal cremation, which will take place next year.

    Thailand will begin building the late king's funeral pyre next year and 8,000 people will be involved in the cremation ceremony, the government said last week.

    The prince has not spoken publicly since his father's death and news about his plans has come through the government.

    Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said last month that the prince had asked to delay the succession in order to grieve with the public.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News and News Agencies


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