King Bhumibol's Life and Legacy in Thailand

Lindsey Ford on CCTV

On October 13, 2016, ASPI's Director for Asian Security, Lindsey Ford, spoke to CCTV about the death of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej. King Bhumibol, who acceded to the Thai throne in 1946, was the world's longest reigning monarch. Speaking to "the depth of reverence the king had in Thailand," Ford said, "the King brought the country together in a common sense of Thai identity" during periods of "fragmentation and division" in the country.

The King's absence could create a vaccum in Thai politics, Ford warned. "There's been a fear for quite some time [about] what would happen when the King passed, and in some ways, some of the instability you have seen playing out over the last several years reflected that concern and fear about what would come next."  

According to Ford, the international community is now wondering whether the mourning period for Bhumibol will end up "extending the military rule that the country is under now and pushing back the promised elections that we were planning to see in 2017." (4 min., 1 sec.)