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Thailand confirms formal steps for Crown Prince to assume throne

Thailand's Crown Prince, Maha Vajiralongkorn, making a speech at a cultural event with local religious leaders in the southern Thai province of Pattani. He is widely expected to ascend the throne, following the death of the much loved king Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Fuad Waesamae | AFP | Getty Images
Thailand's Crown Prince, Maha Vajiralongkorn, making a speech at a cultural event with local religious leaders in the southern Thai province of Pattani. He is widely expected to ascend the throne, following the death of the much loved king Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Thailand confirmed on Tuesday that a formal process is underway to allow Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to assume the throne, Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said, following a period of mourning after his father's death last month.

The death of the much loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct. 13 plunged the Southeast Asian nation into mourning after a reign of more than 70 years. Most Thais have known no other monarch.

Following the king's death, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha signaled the Crown Prince's widely expected ascension.

"After this, we enter the parliamentary process," the defense minister told reporters. "We expect an audience [with the prince] within the next one to two days."

According to procedure, the cabinet, which meets once a week, will ask the president of parliament to invite the crown prince to become king. The prince will then have to accept the invitation in order for him to be proclaimed king.

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