Thai PM reassures on smooth succession; coronation after king's funeral

Updated: 2016-10-17 09:35


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Thai PM reassures on smooth succession; coronation after king's funeral

A woman cries while paying her respect to Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej by[Photo/Agencies] the wall of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand October 16, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

Many Thais worry about a future without him.

Thailand's strict lese-majeste laws, which have been applied rigorously since a military government took power in a 2014 coup, have left little room for public discussion about the succession.

Mourners dressed in black from across Thailand have flocked to Bangkok's gilded Grand Palace to pay homage to the only king most of them have ever known.

Buddhist monks have been chanting prayers beside his coffin in an imposing throne hall, and they will chant for 100 days as part of the funeral rites.

Though the mood is sombre, and almost everyone is dressed in black, shopping malls, markets, cinemas and even some bars have been open.

Thailand's battered stocks recovered ground on Friday on hope for a smooth transition and shares were likely to rise again on Monday, said Kasem Prunratanamala, head of research at CIMB Securities.

"The market should continue to rebound," he said. "Nobody would dare do anything that causes problems for the country."

Prince Vajiralongkorn does not enjoy the same adoration his father earned over a lifetime on the throne. He has married and divorced three times, and has spent much of his life outside Thailand, often in Germany.

Though the king designated his only son crown prince in 1972, shortly afterwards he also raised the possibility of the eligibility of a princess becoming the monarch.

The government has issued guidelines to media saying programmes and advertising should not show "improper scenes such as entertaining, dancing" or violence.

Information related to the king's death must be approved by authorised bodies, while criticism or analysis would not be allowed, the government has said, the Nation newspaper reported.

Thailand's three main mobile service providers said customers should report "inappropriate content on the royal institution" on social media.

Prayuth, a former army chief, has promised an election next year. He has not said if it might be postponed because of the mourning.

The military has for decades invoked its duty to defend the monarchy to justify its intervention in politics. It recently pushed through a new constitution that grants it oversight of civilian governments.

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