Wissanu clarified appointment of Regent pro tempore

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The deputy prime minister Wissanu Krea-ngam affirmed last night that the the president of the Privy Council has become the Regent pro tempore.

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His clarification on a special TV programme broadcast on TV Pool followed rumour spreading on the social media about the appropriateness of the appointment of Gen Prem Tinsulanonda to the position with the absence of the monarch signing endorsement.

In such case, Dr Wissanu, the legal expert, made clear that under the constitution, the president the Regent pro tempore of the Privy Council will become the Regent pro tempore to perform duty after the passing of the King until there is succession to the throne.

He asked the people not to focus only on the name of person, but on the position which a person is holding which in such case the Constitution has clearly states the president of the Privy Council will act on the role of the Regent pro tempore until a succession to the throne is made.

It is an instant automatic procedure, he said, although he didn’t want to call it automatic.

The Regent pro tempore requires no appointment or any ceremony, he explained.

He went on explaining that under the Palace Law on Succession BE 2467 and the constitution, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is the heir to the throne, the Nation reported.

However, he said, the Crown Prince preferred to join the people in grieving on the passing of His Majesty and his father before he will make final decision on the succession to the throne.

Meanwhile National Legislative Assembly (NLA) vice-president Peerasak Porjit said appointment of the Regent pro tempore is in line with the constitution, which states that the council president is acting regent when the throne is vacant, according to the Bangkok Post.

He explained that pending the proclamation of the name of the heir or the successor to the throne under Article 23 of the Constitution, the president of the Privy Council shall become Regent pro tempore.

According to Section 23, his duty ends when a meeting of the NLA invites the heir to ascend the throne, he explained.

The NLA vice-president recalled a meeting on Thursday evening was held under Section 2 of the interim constitution which the cabinet should have submitted the heir name for acknowledgment. Then the NLA president would invite the heir to step on the throne.

But at the meeting, the prime minister informed the NLA that the crown prince would like to take some time to grieve with the nation before accepting the invitation to become the new king.

Therefore, a regent pro tempore is needed during this transition period.

In such case, the president of the Privy Council then automatically take that position.

Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, 96, was appointed president of the Privy Council in 1988. He was prime minister for eight years from 1980.