Thailand's return to civilian rule could be delayed amid a year-long mourning period for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, as the Southeast Asian state's military junta tries to maintain stability.
Thailand's military-led government will consolidate its power, push back elections to 2018 and keep political unrest in check after the death of the revered monarch, political analysts told CNBC.
"The armed forces will persevere as the dominant institution across the land," said Paul Chambers, Director of Research at the Institute of South East Asian Affairs.
Longer-term, however, the loss of the world's longest reigning monarch — widely praised and perceived as a moderator and arbiter in often acrimonious and violent political disputes — may bring political tensions to the fore.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun, associate professor of Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University, told CNBC's "The Rundown" that the monarchy was at the apex of Thailand's political system, regardless of which party held government.
"You could not envision Thailand without King Bhumibol, our charismatic king," Pavin said.
Seen as a unifying force in the politically-divided country that had been subject to some 20 coups - including unsuccessful ones - during his 70 years of reign, the king died in a Bangkok hospital on Thursday. He was 88.
Thitinan Pongsudhirak, an associate professor at the faculty of political science at Chulalongkorn University, explained that the power King Bhumibol wielded was a kind of "moral authority" born of acting with integrity for decades.