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Thailand wakes to uncertainty, grief without King Bhumibol

(Agencies) Updated: 2016-10-14 09:48 Comments

Thailand wakes to uncertainty, grief without King Bhumibol

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha makes a statement following the death of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in Bangkok, in this still image taken from video October 13, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]


Security was stepped up in Bangkok's old quarter of palaces, temples and ministries with soldiers at checkpoints, government offices and intersections.

In the early hour of Friday, black-and-white footage of the king playing jazz on the saxophone was being shown on all local television channels.

Prayuth said Prince Vajiralongkorn wanted to grieve with the people and leave the formal succession until later, when the president of parliament will invite him to ascend the throne.

The junta has promised an election next year and pushed through a constitution to ensure its oversight of civilian governments. 

Most Thais have known no other monarch and King Bhumibol's picture is hung in almost every house, school and office.

Until his later years, he was featured on television almost every evening, often trudging through rain, map in hand and camera around his neck, visiting a rural development project.

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