In Thailand where economic and political problems are abound, the death of their revered leader, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is another hit to their struggling country. However, this unfortunate incident will not delay an anticipated elections for the Thai.
According to media, the general election in 2017 will not be postponed despite entering a year of mourning. Thailand has been under the rule of military junta since 2014 that displaced then leader Yingluck Shinawatra. He was replaced by then head of military and now prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Since then, Thailand has been under strict jurisdiction.
Now as the country looks forward to a welcome change in the form of the 2017 election, the death of their king planted speculations that the military junta may extend the poll date to make room for the year of mourning for the longest reigning monarch of the world.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death has put the country under a somber mood with joyous events being banned for 30 days. Meanwhile, public servants are to wear black for one year to honor the leader. Most public places such as cinemas, parks, and restaurants closed on the day of his death with several expected to be out of business until further notice. Market participants are already expecting a decline in the Thai markets with the significant decrease in trading activity. With most of the locals flying to the palace to pay respects to the late king, several industries are expected to be affected such as tourism, labor, and retail.
The king is a beloved icon of Thailand looked upon by locals as a father figure that guides them in times of turmoil. His son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn’s ascension to throne is an anticipated event. Moreover, the elections will go ahead as planned and that the military government will pave way for civilian rule according to media .
While some personalities are concerned about the future of Thailand now that their king is gone, some people are choosing to focus on the now. A spokesperson for the military, Weerachon Sukondhapatipak did not comment on the matter but instead said, “This is not the time to discuss politics.”
Despite the concerns, the media said, “The government has reaffirmed its commitment to following the roadmap for general elections scheduled for late next year.”