As mourners continue to flock to the Grand Palace in Bangkok to pay their respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thai media reported Monday the monarch’s demise will not affect the country’s election roadmap.
Thailand, which has its general elections scheduled for 2017, witnessed the death of King Bhumibol Thursday after seven decades on the throne. Thais who see the king as a beloved father figure will observe a year of mourning in honor of his death.
However, the Bangkok Post newspaper reported Monday the Thai government had “reaffirmed its commitment” to sticking to its election schedule.
“The prime minister has stressed that even though all Thais are overcome with grief over the passing of His Majesty the King, they must heed the King’s advice for them to carry out their duties properly,” government spokesman Lt. Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.
The late king was revered as a stabilizing figure in a country that has been through political turmoil several times. His son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, is expected to take over but would not command the same sense of adoration as his father had.
The prince said his formal coronation would take place only after King Bhumibol’s cremation, which will follow the year of mourning.
Lt. Gen. Sansern added that the cabinet will hold its routine meeting Tuesday where the main agenda would be discussing preparations for the King Bhumibol’s funeral rights.
The Thai government also ordered garment manufacturers to accelerate their production of black clothing with the finance ministry adding that state banks would cover the cost of manufacturing 8 million black t-shirts.