Updated: Mad, mad monarchism

29 12 2020

Two stories at the Bangkok Post in recent days demonstrate how monarchists have gone completely bonkers.

The first story is about Lt Gen Soraphot Nirandorn, an old man with a terrible comb-over who claims to be the son of a member of Khana Ratsadorn, or the People’s Party. Ordinarily, that affiliation would not guarantee interest in Soraphot.

But in the royal and royalist efforts to roll back the 1932 revolution, Lt Gen Soraphot’s seeking of “forgiveness” for his father, prostrating “before the statues and portraits of King Rama VII, King Rama VIII and King Rama IX…” gained attention.

He says his father, Maj Sawek Nirandorn, or Khun Nirandornchai, one of some 194 “promoters” of the 1932 revolution, “felt remorseful that he as a soldier had violated the oath of allegiance.” He added that: “When serving on a committee examining royal assets, he did something inappropriate. His last wish was to seek royal forgiveness, but he died before he could do it…”.  Sawek doesn’t have much of a role in the standard histories of the period.

According to Lt Gen Soraphot, his father “left the military and was appointed by Khana Ratsadorn to take charge of the construction of the Democracy Monument and was also appointed as a member of a committee examining royal assets from 1932–1948.”

Some of the details here seem a little screwy, but that could be the reporting or the old man’s poor memory, but his angst seems to have to do with land. When asked “if he would return the assets, Lt Gen Soraphot said he has no objection but will have to ask for consent from the rest of the family.”

For those interested in the story of the land scandal of 1937, download Virginia Thompson’s Thailand A New Siam and read pages 93-95. There it is stated that 33 of the 34 persons named as having ripped off land returned it. Unlike the silence that surrounds royal seizures of land today, back then, there was a furious debate.

The second story is even more bizarre, with the monarchist management and owners of the newspaper deeming it necessary to “clarify” a story from 1950. Yes, that’s 70 years ago. Of course it is about the monarchy and it is also a “clarification” dripping with political intent.

Phibul

The Post finds itself caught up in a series of royalist attacks on the doctoral dissertation titled “Thai Politics in Phibul’s Government under the US World Order (1948–1957)” by Nattapol Chaiching. Nattapol refers to the Post for 18 December 1950 in claiming that the regent attended cabinet meetings and that this caused annoyance for Prime Minister Phibul who demanded that the regent follow constitutional rules.

The Post contorts itself stating that “the paper never reported such information…”. it adds: “In fact, the article ‘Premier May Sit In with Privy Council’ merely reported that several cabinet members had voiced their concern about the appointment of 50 senators by the Privy Council without consulting the government as stated in the full article below.”

That sounds a lot like nitpicking, and we can’t find the article the Post claims to reproduce. All of this is prompted by a nasty royalist campaign. For those who can read Thai, there’s an account of the royalist effort here. The campaign is aimed at a group of revisionist historians.

What is clear is that Nattapol’s basic point is correct. Phibul was working against royalists who were reasserting their power and, as usual, ignoring constitutional procedures. As Sorasak Ngamcachonkulkid has it in his 2005 thesis, “The Seri Thai movement : the first alliance against military authoritarianism in modern Thai history” (p. 539):

Soon after the 1947 coup, senior and traditional members of the royal family and the aristocracy came back to play a central role in politics. The two traditional elite groups began by extending their control to the upper House of the legislature. Although the military leaders attempted to place their own followers in the senate, the Regent, Prince Rangsit, ignored their request and appointed one-hundred senators from among the nation’s most venerable and highly-educated elite. Only eight senators were selected from the 1932 revolutionary group, and no senators were appointed from members of the recent coup. Of the 100 Senators, 90 of them were princes … and [from] the aristocracy….

As time went on, Phibul railed against the royalists, seeking to roll back their power grab and especially against the regent. Indeed, in 1951, when Prince Dhani was appointed regent, Phibul voted against him.

Our point being that the royalists are grasping at straws and again trying to put the genie back in the opaque bottle.

Update: In the context of the above notes, it is worth reading Voranai Vanijaka’s op-ed “2020: Khana Ratsadon VS the Chakri Dynasty Part 2.” It sets out some of the ideological underpinnings for Thailand’s journey back to royal absolutism.





Can Vajiralongkorn return to Germany?

15 12 2020

A few days ago a Japanese newspaper published a story about King Vajiralongkorn’s relationship with Germany. It was behind a paywall for us at PPT. Fortunately, The Thaiger has a version of it.

Based on German media reports, the report states that there are doubts that Thailand’s king “will ever return” to Bavaria.It seems that the demands of fighting back against domestic criticism requires his attention, even if past PR efforts have gone badly throughout his life.

Nikkei Asia reports that Holger Sabinsky-Wolf, a journalist from a local daily, Augsburger Allgemeine, recently reported that ‘diplomatic sources’ have explained they do not expect the Thai king to return to Germany.

Meanwhile, Berliner Morgenpost, had a headline on December 9… “Thai king has left Bavaria – will he ever be back?” The article reported that local shops, jewellers and restaurants “regretted his absence” as the full entourage, including “twenty accompanying business [sic.] women” who had generated significant revenue for the small village.

Meanwhile, German parliamentarians have questioned his presence in Germany and protesters began to dog his life in Germany. And, Germany is going into virus lock-downs.

The article gets some things wrong. For example, it says the ‘King’s earlier schedule [was] to return to Germany at the end of December…”. In fact, his October visit was scheduled for three weeks.

The report tiptoes around some issues:

… the King has attracted considerable publicity in Germany for the length of his stay, the list of people who were sharing the hotel with him [PPT: his harem of women, servants, and security], the cost of security and alleged Covid-19 lockdown breaches.

The German Government were also dragged into Thailand’s spate of protests when rally was mounted outside the German embassy in Sathorn Road on October 26. Protesters delivered a letter personally to the German ambassador Georg Schmidt, openly asking for an investigation of HM affairs and legitimacy as a long-term resident in Bavaria. They directly addressed the issue of a foreign monarch conducting state affairs on German soil amongst other matters that could contravene German law.

Journalists have concluded that “the German government would be able to tie any future visa for the Thai monarch to ‘explicit requirements that [the king] appoint a regent in Thailand to act in his place when he was visiting Germany’.”

Despite all of this, the report unaccountably concludes that the German government is not bothered about the king being in Germany. So the point of the story was….





On Vajiralongkorn

12 04 2017

It is six months since the late king passed and just over four months since the then crown prince acceded the throne. The first of the assessments are appearing on “the reign so far.”

One of these is by Claudio Sopranzetti at Al Jazeera. It may soon be blocked in Thailand.

Essentially, Sopranzetti makes an argument that Vajiralongkorn is a nasty piece of work seeking to ensconce himself and his privilege in ways that are different from the manner in which his father operated. His father was a networker while Vajiralongkorn is a thug.

This is not the potentially “democratic” king envisaged by another observer.

One might think that succession to a throne would see changes made to the royal household. Indeed, there have been such changes in the Thai royal household, but these have been completed in nasty, even vengeful ways.

That Vajiralongkorn is vengeful, thuggish and nasty should not come as a shock to anyone who has watched the royal family over the years. Those characteristics, along with his womanizing and his need for money, defined his life as crown prince. He’s also considered himself a military man, and the “military discipline” he seems to have imposed in the palace matches the vile treatment of recruit to the military.

That members of the elite now fear the erratic new king is to be expected, and if it is only now that they are making hasty contingency plans, then they can only blame themselves for not fully believing the stories they all knew to be true.

Perhaps the most interesting issue is how interventionist King Vajiralongkorn is going to be.

Sopranzetti gets a few things wrong. The lese majeste law was not introduced in 1957; Vajiralongkorn did not spend most of his adult life overseas (depends a bit on the definition of “adult”); he’s wrong that “changes provide the King with complete control over the appointment of a regent in his absence” for the king has long had this control and had it under the earlier version of the new constitution under Article 16. What he has now is the capacity to not appoint a regent when he’s overseas. He’s also wrong to reproduce bits and pieces of palace propaganda as fact.

He is right to say that with the “new constitution Vajiralongkorn will wield more power over the parliament than his father ever did.” However, no one should conclude that the previous reign was not highly interventionist. The previous king was forever meddling, sometimes on his own and often through trusted intermediaries. His relationship with particular military leaders meant that his view always counted.

What is in doubt is exactly how King Vajiralongkorn will intervene. So far, he seems intent on maintaining royal powers. His intervention on the constitution essentially rolled back changes that sought to deal with the end of the last reign and the political fallout from interventionism.

The new king sees no reason for the changes, so it is probably reasonable to assume that his future interventions will be erratic and nasty.





Updated: The constitution and the king’s coup

10 04 2017

The New York Times carries an op-ed by David Streckfuss. It is titled “In Thailand, a King’s Coup,” and we guess it will be blocked here in Thailand before too long.

We are not sure we agree with all of it, but will comment later.

Update: Streckfuss is like everyone else. He’s reading royal and military tea leaves and trying to work out what is going on. We can’t do anything different. His hypothesis seems to be that the the changes the king demanded of the junta’s constitution might represent a slap to the military. We are not so sure.

He’s not entirely right when he says that one changes “allows the king to name a regent to act on his behalf, including when he is traveling outside Thailand. This strips the Privy Council, a royal advisory group known to support the junta, of its traditional authority to act in the king’s place on such occasions.”

This isn’t correct. In previous constitutions, the king has had the right to appoint a regent. The change that impacts the Privy Council is that the new constitution removes the Privy Council President’s role of acting as regent when there’s a void. Grand old political fiddler General Prem Tinsulanonda may not like that, but he’s frail and on the way out.

There’s also the capacity for the king to nominate a person or a group to act as regent. We are not sure how this might work.

Another change is that the king doesn’t have to appoint a regent when he’s (often) away. That is giving him a power he didn’t have before but which is an acknowledgement that the new king intends to be away a lot.

Most of the other changes are a rolling back to earlier arrangements.

Then there’s the hypothesis that the king has a political “clean slate” and that this may result in some kind of association with a more democratic Thailand, as Streckfuss has it, the king might “foster a somewhat more open political atmosphere…”.

Don’t hold your breath. For a start, the prince-cum-king does not have a “clean slate.” Anything but. He has been manipulative in events since his father became unable to do much. Think of his efforts to have the now disgraced Jumpol Manmai made police chief.

To date, over 64 years, PPT hasn’t seen any evidence that Vajiralongkorn is going to be a democratic king. We would be very surprised if he turns out to be this, but we’d welcome that almost as much as a democratic republic.

There’s no doubt that Streckfuss is right when he sees the proclamation of the junta’s constitution on Chakri Day as significant. But what, exactly, is the significance? Is it that constitutionalism resides in the monarchy? Is it that “[t]ying the promulgation of the Constitution to Chakri Day is significant …[as it] seems to signal that constitutions are a gift to the people from the monarchy…”.

That’s also a misreading. In fact, royalists have made this point since 1932. That’s why Thailand has the daftly rendered King Prajadhipok Institute, as if the king targeted in 1932 was the real founder of democratic constitutionalism in Thailand. That certainly is an ideological misrepresentation.

We can think of another rendering: if the constitution was granted by the king and on Chakri Day, will it constitute lese majeste if anyone criticized it or wants to change it?

(We must add that Streckfuss is wrong that the previous king criticized the lese majeste law.)





Scary king

3 02 2017

In a new article at The Conversation, Eugénie Mérieau of Sciences Po has an assessment of King Vajiralongkorn and the constitution (the space is open to choose the military’s interim one or the draft, passed in a “referendum” but being amended military one). Readers will find it of interest. We don’t agree with all of it.

For example, she begins with a claim that the newbie king has “disregarded the provisions of the Thai constitution and its conventions to an extent unprecedented in the modern history of the nation.”

We think that’s going a bit far. His father wasn’t much troubled by these things, despite Mérieau’s view that he exercised constitutional powers “rarely and with caution.” And, as indicated above, which constitution? If it is the draft one, he has exercised a right granted to him. He didn’t “interfere” in constitution making but exercise powers that foolish royalist regimes have granted the monarch.

In terms of succession, his delay did leave Thailand without a king, but that had happened previously and the then prince was engaged in a PR exercise that actually eased his path to the kingship. As in the past, royal powers were exercised by a Regent.

That this left The Dictator ruling by decree changed nothing; he was doing this before the delayed succession.

We do agree that the changes he wanted are important and worthy of criticism. They are clearly a movement of constitutional power to the king. Mérieau might also have noted that the king now has the power to appoint the Supreme Patriarch.

We agree that there is a movement away from notions of constitutional monarchy and towards a monarchy that is institutionally very powerful. That is scary.





Lese majeste mania

21 10 2016

Following from our post yesterday, it is becoming clear that the post-death lese majeste action is shifting from vigilante mobs to the military dictatorship.

On the one hand, if there is a decline in mob vigilantism, this might be considered somewhat positive. On the other, the military’s state hardly needs encouragement to enforce the feudal lese majeste law. As readers know, lese majeste has been used by the military regime to enforce social and political order.

In a period where succession remains a subject of intense speculation, using lese majeste for maintaining order is becoming a mania.

The Bangkok Post reports that “[f]ive people have been arrested on lese majeste charges since … the King’s passing…”. This contrasts with an earlier Prachatai reports that stated “police have so far prosecuted 12 people for lèse majesté since King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death on 13 October…”. We think the differnce is that five have been charged and another seven are “identified” and under investigation.

Whatever the number, we can be sure that there will be more prosecutions.

The alleged breaches of the law include references to the dead king, the crown prince and the regent (General Prem Tinsulaonda).

The monochrome nation is in the hands of intolerant royalists and the bland condemnations of vigilantism are often crafted in the most syrupy royalism and efforts to join with the junta in blaming victims and reproduce some of the most flagrant palace propaganda. At times these  propagandists seem to have lobotomized out the work of Handley and others over the past decade.

A member of the routinely hopeless National Human Rights Commission has also condemned vigilantism, but there seems nothing on the NHRC website about this.

None of this faux liberal facade should be permitted to obscure the military dictatorship’s continuing lese majeste mania and ongoing purge.

The deputy national police chief also warned netizens against posts which defame the royal institution. Junta spokesman Lt-Gen. Sansern Kaewkamnerd has warned against lese majeste. The Dictator has warned too. The message is clear. The authorities are actively seeking out those it considers are in violation of the feudal law and are prosecuting them. They seek to prevent the expression of different opinions on the monarchy.

Sansern stated: “The government won’t avoid enforcing the law in cases of proved violations [of the lese majeste law].”

Indeed. The fact is that the junta is scouring the internet for “offenders.” It is encouraging cyber-vigilantes to report any cases.

Prachatai reports that the “Digital Ministry has increased its staff at an online surveillance centre tasked with searching for lèse majesté content…”. The Ministry “has appointed 118 new staff to the Cyber Security Operation Center (CSOC), a 24/7 online monitoring center…”.

Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong stated:

We’ve co-operating closely with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commissions and internet service providers both inside and outside the country. This operation is to prevent people who are already in mourning from being subjected to further mental impact…. We don’t want everything to be shown in public because it is an inappropriate time. Please understand that we are seriously working 24/7.

The air force general also claimed “that the CSOC detected 52 lèse majesté webpages on 14 October and another 61 the next day.” He proclaimed that “35 per cent of them have already been blocked…”.

He added that there was now an effort to prosecute those responsible for the pages.

The courts will see a frenzy of lese majeste and computer crimes charges.





All the king’s men

19 10 2016

It may be seen as fitting that the men at the head of major institutions in Thailand are now all authoritarian loyalists of the deceased king.

The youngest of the royalist trio is General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized government in a military coup in 2014. The Dictator made his career through acts of loyalty for the palace. Prior to becoming Army boss, he commanded troops that murderously crushed red shirt protesters in 2010. That was also an act of loyalty.

At 96 years of age, the doddery General Prem Tinsulanonda is now regent. When unelected prime minister, he presided over the years in which the monarchy was catapulted into a more exalted position than it had enjoyed since the days of absolutism.

The third of the royalist stooges is doddery privy counselor Thanin Kraivixien, 88, who is now selected as head of the Privy Council while Prem assumes the position of regent. Thanin was catapulted into the prime ministership in 1976 following a massacre of students and a military coup. He was a palace favorite and it is accepted that the king wanted the right-wing Thanin as premier. He presided over a period of fascist-like repression that was so extreme that even the military leadership soon ditched his government, much to the displeasure of the king who immediately vaulted Thanin to the privy council.

Wikileaks notes that Thanin was “ideological and politically extreme. After his taking office, he sent police special forces to notoriously [sic.] liberal book shops, and ordered the confiscation and burning of 45,000 books, including works of Thomas More, George Orwell and Maxim Gorky.”

In recent days, this unreformed rightist royalist has provided advice to the Prayuth dictatorship. Indeed, the junta’s 20-year “roadmap” to “democracy” is modeled on Thanin’s 16-year plan for “democracy.” There are other similarities and comparisons can be made. Among them, the draft constitution draws inspiration from the Thanin era, with Meechai Ruchupan having served the book burner in 1976-77. Like Prayuth’s military dictatorship, Thanin’s civilian dictatorship made use of the lese majeste law to repress political opponents.





Prem becomes regent? III

14 10 2016

The story of 96 year-old General Prem Tinsulanonda becoming regent is more like a saga. Stories in the media posted, then withdrawn and some reposted hours later.

At about 1 am (Bangkok time), The Nation also got into the act. Its story also has a critical edge to it, beginning with the headline: “No official announcement on Regent pro tempore.” It also reflects the confusion that exists.

The question remains: is the successionist position on political maneuvering over the kingship playing out? Or is it that the junta is confused and incompetent? Maybe The Dictator can sort it all out with Article 44? Maybe not.

Given that the story may go missing, we will post in full below:

LEGAL EXPERTS SAY PRIVY COUNCIL CHIEF GENERAL PREM TINSULANONDA HAS TAKEN ROYAL ROLE TILL NEW MONARCH IS APPOINTED
WITH no official statement, the question of who will fill the position of Regent pro tempore remained unclear yesterday.

However, as a consequence of the provisional constitution, statesman and Privy Council President General Prem Tinsulanonda is supposed to take the title after the passing of His Majesty the King on Thursday.

Section two of the provisional constitution refers to the rules of secession to the throne to chapter two of the 2007 Charter which was scrapped after the 2014 coup.

Article 23 of the 2007 Constitution states: “In the case where the Throne becomes vacant and the King has already appointed His Heir to the Throne under the Palace Law on Succession, B.E. 2467, the Council of Ministers shall notify the President of the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly shall then convoke the National Assembly for the acknowledgement thereof and shall invite such Heir to ascend the Throne and proclaim such Heir King.”

The NLA did not do that during its session on Thursday night. Members only held a nine-minute period of silence to mourn the passing of the King.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said later that His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn preferred to “wait for a proper time” to ascend to the throne as the country was still mourning the passing of His Majesty the King.

“The Crown Prince prefers to join the entire nation in expressing his grief at this time,” Prayut said. “He asked that the process of accession to the throne be held back until a proper time. He is aware of his duties as heir to the throne and will continue carrying out his royal responsibilities in his capacity as Crown Prince.”

Therefore, according to the Article 24 of the 2007 Constitution, the president of the Privy Council shall be Regent pro tempore, pending the proclamation of the name of the royal heir.

Yesterday, local media needed to withdraw reports on the matter, which quoted National Legislative Assembly vice-president Peerasak Porjit as saying that General Prem automatically became Regent pro tempore. The reason behind the withdrawals was unclear and representatives of the concerned media organisations were not available for comment yesterday.

Legal expert Verapat Pariyawong, a visiting scholar at SOAS School of Law at the University of London, said: “According to constitutional rules, the President of the National Legislative Assembly shall convoke the Assembly for the acknowledgement of the heir to throne and invite the heir to ascend the throne to be proclaimed King.

“Pending such proclamation, the President of the Privy Council shall act as Regent pro tempore. In such a case that the said Regent can no longer perform duties as President of the Privy Council, and the Privy Council is required to select a Privy Councillor to act as its President pro tempore. In addition, Article 6 of the palace succession law also provides that the ascension to the throne shall be without question and shall proceed immediately.”

Prem, 96, became a member of the Privy Council after stepping down as prime minister in 1988 and was appointed chief of the council in 1998.





Updated: Prem becomes regent? II

14 10 2016

Update: The Bangkok Post story was reposted just prior to midnight (Bangkok time) on 14 October. The main difference in the story from that set out below seems to be that the appointment is confirmed by junta legal deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam. At 4 am (Bangkok time), Khaosod’s note about the withdrawal of its story remained in place.

– + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

In our last post we mentioned a remarkable story in Khaosod that discussed the “appointment” of General Prem Tinsulanonda, Privy Council boss, as regent. That story was critical of interim parliament chairman Pornpetch Wichitcholchai for failing to invite the crown prince to be king.

khaosod-copy

Soon after we posted, the Bangkok Post had a similar article, without the criticism of the Pornpetch or discussion of the the constitutional requirements surrounding the position of regent.bkk-post-copyBoth articles are now gone. The Post says nothing about it going missing. Khaosod states:

From the Editors of Khaosod English.

Khaosod English has removed an October 14 article about a procedure at the royal succession following King Bhumibol’s death per instruction from Khaosod’s editorial management, who feared that content in the article might lead to possible legal action.

We regret the necessity.

The decision was made solely by the editorial management of Khaosod newspaper, which owns Khaosod English. We have not received any order from authorities to remove the article.

As a news agency based in Thailand, Khaosod English is obliged to comply with Thai law. However, we strive to serve the public interest by presenting objective, accurate news reports.

(Khaosod also reports censorship of another article profiling royals. It states in a note: Portions of these profiles have been redacted due to the present sensitive climate and draconian lese majeste law.)

We thought readers might like to see the deleted stories. The first is from the Bangkok Post:

Prem becomes Regent pro tempore

Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda has been named Regent pro tempore following the passing of His Majesty the King on Thursday.

Gen Prem’s appointment is in line with the constitution, which states that the council president is acting regent when the throne is vacant, according to Section 24.

“Pending the proclamation of the name of the Heir or the Successor to the Throne under Article 23, the President of the Privy Council shall be Regent pro tempore,” the constitution says.

The duty of the Regent pro tempore ends when a meeting of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) invites the heir to ascend the throne, according to Section 23.

NLA vice-president Peerasak Projit said on Friday the NLA 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 chairman would invite the heir to step on the throne.

However, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha informed the NLA on Thursday that the heir, HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 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. Mr Peerasak said the Privy Council president would automatically take that position.

The second is from Khaosod, as a series of screen captures:

khaosod-2

capture-1-copycapture-2-copycapture-3-copycapture-4-copycapture-5-copy





Updated: Prem becomes Regent? I

14 10 2016

In a stunning story at Khaosod, it is reported that General Prem Tinsulanonda is now Regent. We have not seen any official announcement of this.

The report is attributed to Peerasak Porjit, who is vice-president of the National Legislative Assembly.

When Prince Vajiralongkorn “said he would take the role of monarch when he was ready, after mourning his father,” there was immediate confusion. Was the further evidence of a struggle over succession?

Legal experts cited in the report refer the “unexpected turn of events” and say they “could have far-reaching legal ramifications and means that a former prime minister who heads the King’s Privy Council, now acts as regent for the empty throne.”

Peerasak stated: “Right now we have no king…. So, all of the royal duties of a king must be done through the regent.” According to the constitution, that means the aged old schemer Gen. Prem. The report states that “Peerasak confirmed Prem is now regent in accordance with the constitution.” Yet it is unclear who might sign the appointment for Prem.

Uncharted waters indeed.

If this isn’t confused enough, Thammasat University law professor Kittisak Prokati said:

interim parliament chairman Pornpetch [Wichitcholchai] was clearly required by Section 23 of the constitution to invite Vajiralongkorn, yet he did not do so Thursday night…. It means the parliament chairman must be held accountable for not performing his duty as described in Section 23…. Because he did not invite the Crown Prince, we have a huge case of confusion here, because this case could have been decided by Section 23.

The question arises: if this is not a struggle over succession, then the junta is seriously confused and incompetent. After all, they have had two years and more to prepare for this.

Update: The Section 23 referred to is in the 2007 Constitution, which if our memory is correct, the junta maintained for the sections on the king. Here’s what that charter says:

Section 18
Whenever the King is absent from the Kingdom or unable to perform His functions for any reason whatsoever, the King will appoint a person Regent, and the President of the National Assembly shall countersign the Royal Command therefore.

Section 19
In the case where the King does not appoint a Regent under section 18, or the King is unable to appoint a Regent owing to His not being sui juris or any other reason whatsoever, the Privy Council shall submit the name of a person suitable to hold the office of Regent to the National Assembly for approval. Upon approval by the National Assembly, the President of National Assembly shall make an announcement, in the name of the King, to appoint such person as Regent.

During the expiration the term of the House of Representatives or the dissolution thereof, the Senate shall act as the National Assembly in giving an approval under paragraph one.

Section 20
While there is no Regent under section 18 or section 19, the President of the Privy Council shall be Regent pro tempore. In the case where the Regent appointed under section 18 or section 19 is unable to perform his or her duties, the President of the Privy Council shall act as Regent pro tempore.

While being Regent under paragraph one or acting as Regent under paragraph two, the President of the Privy Council shall not perform his or her duties as President of the Privy Council. In such case, the Privy Council shall select a Privy Councilor to act as President of the Privy Council pro tempore.

Section 22
Palace Law on Succession, B.E. 2467.
The Amendment of the Palace Law on Succession, B.E. 2467 shall be the prerogative of the King. At the initiative of the King, the Privy Council shall draft the Palace Law Amendment and shall present it to the King for his consideration. When the King has already approved the draft Palace Law Amendment and put His signature thereon, the President of the Privy Council shall notify the President of the National Assembly for informing the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly shall countersign the Royal Command, and the Palace Law Amendment shall have the force of law upon its publication in the Government Gazette.

During the expiration of the term of the House of Representatives or the dissolution thereof, the Senate shall act as the National Assembly in acknowledging the matter under paragraph two.

Section 23
In the case where the Throne becomes vacant and the King has already appointed His Heir to the Throne under the Palace Law on Succession, B.E. 2467, the Council of Ministers shall notify the President of the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly shall convoke the National Assembly for the acknowledgement thereof, and the President of the National Assembly shall invite such Heir to ascend the Throne and proclaim such Heir King. In the case where the Throne becomes vacant and the King has not appointed His Heir under paragraph one, the Privy Council shall submit the name of the Successor to the Throne under section 22 to the Council of Ministers for further submission to the National Assembly for approval.

For this purpose, the name of a Princess may be submitted. Upon the approval of the National Assembly, the President of the National Assembly shall invite such Successor to ascend the Throne and proclaim such Successor King.

During the expiration of the term of the House of Representatives or the dissolution thereof, the Senate shall act as the National Assembly in acknowledging the matter under paragraph one or in giving an approval under paragraph two.

Section 24
Pending the proclamation of the name of the Heir or the Successor to the Throne under section 23, the President of the Privy Council shall be Regent pro tempore. In the case where the Throne becomes vacant while the Regent has been appointed under section 18 or section 19 or while the President of the Privy Council is acting as Regent under section 20 paragraph one, such Regent, as the case may be, shall continue to be the Regent until the proclamation of the name of the Heir or the Successor to ascend the Throne as King.

In the case where the Regent who has been appointed and continues to be the Regent under paragraph one is unable to perform his or her duties, the President of the Privy council shall act as Regent pro tempore.

In the case where the President of the Privy Council is the Regent under paragraph one or acts as Regent pro tempore under paragraph two, the provisions of section 20 paragraph three shall apply.

Section 25
In the case where the Privy Council will have to perform its duties under section 19 or section 23 paragraph two, or the President of the Privy Council will have to perform his or her duties under section 20 paragraph one or paragraph two or section 24 paragraph two, and during that time there is no President of the Privy Council or the President of the Privy Council is unable to perform his or her duties, the remaining Privy Councilors shall elect one among themselves to act as President of the Privy Council or to perform the duties under section 20 paragraph one or paragraph two or section 24 paragraph three, as the case may be.