Paul Handley, the author of this year’s most important book on Thailand, The King Never Smiles, has a short article in Asia Sentinel. In today’s contribution, Handley asks, “Who gets the kingdom’s sceptre when Bhumibol leaves the stage?” While not fully answering his own question, Handley does argue that:
The coup was about Thaksin’s ambition and misrule, certainly, but what really got General Sonthi Boonyaratklin and his cohorts to move was the issue of succession to the throne. There was a clear meeting of minds between the crown and the military, through King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s number one aide Prem Tinsulanonda, that they did not want Thaksin in a position to exert influence on the passing of the Chakri Dynasty mantle to Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.
The full text is definitely worth a read.