Thailand’s military-backed parliament voted on Friday to make amendments to the constitution after request from the new king, likely delaying the election scheduled for later in the year. The draft constitution was approved in a referendum last year and has been awaiting endorsement by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who took the throne in December after the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who commanded immense respect from Thais during his 70-year reign.

Promulgation of the charter, which was forwarded to the palace for royal endorsement in November, was expected in early February. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o- cha said on Tuesday the office of King Vajiralongkorn had asked for several changes to clauses related to royal power in the draft constitution, a rare intervention by a sitting Thai monarch. One of the changes is that the monarch no longer will need to appoint a sitting regent to act in his place when King Vajiralongkorn is abroad. The new monarch has spent much of his adult life abroad.

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