His Majesty the King signs constitution

His Majesty the King signs constitution

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun signs Thailand's 20th constitution at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok at 3.11pm on Thursday. (Photo captured from live TV broadcast)
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun signs Thailand's 20th constitution at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok at 3.11pm on Thursday. (Photo captured from live TV broadcast)

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has signed Thailand's 20th constitution, starting the clock ticking for a general election to be held in late 2018 at the latest.

In a ceremony not seen in almost 50 years, His Majesty inked the country's highest law at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok at 3.11pm on Thursday.

The charter was then given to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. It was subsequently stamped by a royal seal and put on a gold tray on a pedestal before the assembly of royal family members, privy councillors, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, as well as members of the National Legislative Assembly and the Constitutional Drafting Committee, presidents of the Supreme Court and independent organisations and high-ranking officials.

A scribe then read the royal statement promulgating the 2017 constitution.

Officials beat gongs and blew trumpets and a royal guards band played marching music, followed by a 21-gun salute by the army, navy and air force.

Temples throughout the country simultaneously recited prayers, rang bells and beat drums.

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