Thai King Bhumibol to be cremated on Oct 26

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BANGKOK: Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be cremated on Oct 26, a government official said yesterday, adding that the king's funeral will take place over a five-day period.

Confirmation of the cremation date sets a timeframe for the coronation of King Bhumibol's son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who ascended the throne in December but whose formal coronation has been put on hold until after his father's funeral.

Political observers say the new king's coronation will formally kick-start politics following a year-long mourning period and a general election should follow soon after.

"The palace has confirmed that the king agrees with the government's plan. The cremation day will be Oct 26," a senior government official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, told Reuters.

King Bhumibol died in October last year at the age of 88 following a long illness. His death ended a seven-decade reign that saw the king become a rare unifying figure in an otherwise deeply polarised nation. - REUTERS