BANGKOK – The newly crowned king of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn, renewed on Tuesday the Privy Council that advises him and which he inherited from his father, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died at the age of 88 on Oct. 13 after seven decades on the throne.
The council has a 142-year history of assisting the throne and preserving the continuity of the monarchy, according to a statement issued by the Grand Palace on its website.
The new Thai king reduced the number of advisers on the council from 16 to 11, by retaining eight of his father’s advisers – three politicians, three lawyers and two military officials – and adding three generals from the ruling junta, in power since the 2014 coup.
General Prem Tinsulanonda, the ex-prime minister who assumed the regency during the period between Bhumibol’s death and the proclamation of Vajiralongkorn on Dec. 1, will continue as Council chairman, a post that he has held since 1998.
Proclaimed King Rama X, Vajiralongkorn will not be crowned until next year, after the official 12-month mourning period is over.
According to the Thai military junta’s schedule, the new Constitution – approved in a referendum in August – will enter into force and general elections will be held during this same period, although official media has not ruled out a postponement of the elections until 2018.