When the King of Thailand died the people gathered in mourning and condolences were submitted from around the world. Now that the shock has subsided, what is in store for the future of Thailand. Several media sources now claims that Thailand is in a particularly vulnerable situation, and several speculates that the King’s death can result in violence and unrest. Could it really happen?
People faint in grief.
There is little doubt that for many Thais, the royal family is sacred. People walking on the street while crying, they light candles for their King and faint in grief on the street. Outside the royal palace, thousands gather and lifts bills with the image of the King towards to the sky while they shouts aloud “Long live the king.”
A grieving woman said to Reuters, “He was the heart of our nation”.
The Thai Constitution leaves no room for doubt, the King’s only son will be the next monarch. Thailand’s Crown Prince has repeatedly been criticized for his behavior. He is not particularly popular with the Thai people. This has led people to discuss if the Crown Prince really is fit to take over for his father and many favors his younger sisters, but none of them has inheritance rights under Thai law.
Can Thailand get a female regent?
According to Thailand’s law one may be punished with an imprisonment of up to 15 years if you insult a member of the royal family. Many famous Thais have nevertheless commented critically the royal family, now that the king is dead. In many kingdoms, automatically the Crown Prince becomes the new King in the same second the previous king dies, so it is not in Thailand. The Crown Prince has asked that the coronation should be postponed so he can get a few days to mourn over his father`s death. So formally, it is now the leader of the king’s council, General Prem Tinsulanonda, who is regent until a new coronation, has been held.
General Tinsulanonda has previously made no secret of that he is not a supporters of the Crown Prince. He has on several occasions tried to open for changes in the succession law so that one of the Crown Prince’s three sisters might be potential candidates to become the new regent. By contrast, General Prayut Chan-Ocha, who has led Thailand since the last military coup has publicly given his full support to the current crown prince as the new King.
Many believe the conflict between the head of the king’s council and the country’s political leader can end in an open national conflict.
Only time will tell what is going to happen in Thailand. What we can conclude with certainty is that Thailand’s deceased king represented not only unity, he was the Thai state`s stability.