Thailand’s 84-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej has recovered from the slight bleeding around his brain, the royal palace said Friday, but would not be taking on any official business for some time.
The king’s heartbeat and blood pressure had returned to normal following the incident, but doctors advised him to suspend public activities for the time being, the royal Household Bureau said in statement.
“Doctors used X-rays to examine his brain and found a small amount of blood had percolated through the left side of the meninges (the membrane around the brain),” the statement said. The king was treated with “medicine intravenously and after that the spasm stopped”.
The announcement came as Thailand’s ruling party said it would push ahead with plans to change the constitution after a court ruled that proposed amendments did not threaten the revered monarchy, a charge that might have led to the party’s dissolution.
The decision means the government is not in danger of falling and should ease political tensions that have spiralled in Thailand over the past few days.
The Constitutional Court ruled that the government would need the go-ahead from a referendum before an elected assembly could rewrite the constitution, but it left the way open for parts to be changed without that and the ruling party said it might take that route.
On hearing that these charges had been rejected thousands, of red shirt supporters who had gathered outside the Thai parliament celebrated jubilantly. Thida Thawornseth, leader of the red shirts’ United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship said: “This is a historic moment for Thailand and we will continue to support the government.”
The Pheu government, led by Yingluck Shinawatra maintains that its proposed changes are part of a programme of “reconciliation”, which aims to change a constitution seen by some as undemocratic.
The opposition Royalist party, supported by there anti-Shinawatra yellow shirts, have said that Yingluck Shinawatra’s undeclared aim was to pave the way for the return of his brother, Thaksin, from self-exile.
However, for now at least it seems that tensions in Bangkok have calmed and, according to Siripan Nogsuan Sawasdee, associate professor in the faculty of political science at Chulalongkorn University, the ruling has kept “the balance between the opposition and ruling party”.