Thailand begins naming of new king
jamuna news desk: Thailand has begun the process of naming Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn as the country's new king.
Its parliament approved the sending of a formal invitation, which he has to accept before ascending to the throne.
The deeply revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on 13 October, plunging Thailand into mourning.
The prince was widely expected to succeed his father, but officials had earlier said he wanted to postpone it by at least a year.
The official reason given was that he wanted to give the Thai people time to mourn his father before he became king.
The BBC's South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head says Thailand was left in an odd constitutional limbo as the prince, the undisputed heir, should have succeeded his father immediately.
The leader of Thailand's parliament, the National Legislative Assembly, said he expects to meet with the prince in the next few days to formally invite him. Once the prince accepts, his succession would then be announced to the public.
But our correspondent says it is still not clear when that will happen.
The monarchy occupies a pivotal role in Thailand's political order. Former Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda is currently standing in as regent.