Thailand's King Bhumibol Falls Under Ill Health-Surprising Power Struggle Ensues
December 21 2007 -A secretive struggle for power in Thailand is mounting in response to the county's king's ill health. Is Thailand looking for a new leader?
Thailand, December 21, 2007-- – The longest-reigning monarch in the entire world, the man that Thailand has known as their leader for more than sixty years, just celebrated his 80th birthday. Because King Bhumibol has been struggling with his health for some time now, his most recent illness is leading to a secretive power struggle as several different political figures vie for the same throne. Although King Bhumibol has not left his place as the king of Thailand, it is imperative that the country be prepared to replace him when the time does come.
A coup was recently enacted in Thailand, and the first election to come up since the event is not far off. This has given way to a power struggle between several figures in Thai politics, including the King's son and daughter, General Prem who is the president of the Privy Council, and Thaksin Shinawatra, a political figure in the country.
While it is not typical for a country to concentrate on replacing a King before he leaves his throne, King Bhumibol's failing health has been a long time coming and will play a large part in whether or not he can continue in his post.
The King's only son, Crown Prince Vajirilongkorn, is fifty-five years old. Despite being the legal heir to the Thai throne upon his father's succession, popular opinion holds that he is deeply unpopular among the average Thai citizen. While the royal family, including Princess Sirindhorn the daughter of King Bhumibol are honored through pictures in Thai households, Prince Vajirilongkorn has not received the same tributes.
Princess Sirindhorn, who is often referred to as Phra Thep among her people in Thailand, is the daughter to King Bhumibol and is also vying for the throne should he become absent. General Prem, president to the Privy Council and Thaksin Shinawatra are also a part of this struggle for power, and are slated to be included in the election that will occur in Thailand soon. Thaksin Shinawatra and the People's Power Party will both play a role in the upcoming election.
As Thai citizens gear up for what is sure to be an interesting election, four influential parties in Thai government continue to battle in a secretive struggle for a kingdom that is not yet free for the taking.
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