Thai PM uses cardboard stand-in to avoid press

Thailand’s prime minister brought out a life-size cardboard cutout of himself, and told the press to ask any questions to 'this guy'

 

(Photo: New York Times)
(Photo: New York Times)

Thailand’s prime minister evaded journalists’ questions on Monday by turning to a life-size cardboard cutout of himself.

Prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha briefly spoke to an audience outside Government House in Bangkok, before the life-sized replica was brought out.

"If you want to ask any questions on politics or conflict, ask this guy," Prayuth said, then walked away waving.

The prime minister did, however, speak to a hand-picked audience of children inside the residence, The Nation newspaper reported.

He said it was important to "engage young people with potential to get in line with 21st-Century democracy."

It was not the first time that Prayuth, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 2014, tricked the news media. In the past, he has fondled the ear of a sund technician for several minutes during a news conference, flung a banana peel at cameramen and threatened to execute any journalism who criticized his government.

Prayuth had promised elections in November, through he has made similar promises several times previously, and then delayed the balloting.

In April the country voted in a referendum on a new constitution and a changed electoral system, which observers say is likely to lead to a more splintered parliament.

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