'Ask this guy': Thailand PM defers questions to cardboard cutout

By On January 09, 2018

'Ask this guy': Thailand PM defers questions to cardboard cutout

'Ask this guy': Thailand PM defers questions to cardboard cutoutCLOSE

Thailand's Prime Minister on Monday evaded questions by bringing out a life-sized cardboard cut-out of himself, and telling reporters to "ask this guy" if they had "any questions on politics or conflict."

Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is facing ever-deepening criticism after bringing cardboard cutouts of himself to a media gathering and telling reporters they could address their questions to his paper stand-ins.

On Monday, Prayuth spoke briefly about Children's Day at his Government House offices, but journalists were more interested in political issues. A cutout depicting him in a suit was brought out.

"Ask this guy," Prayuth said before walking away.

Prayuth has had a contentious relationship with the media since taking control of the government in a 2014 coup. His antics, such as throwing a banana at a reporter, are often viewed in Thailand as awkward attempts at humor. In 2015, he even warned media members, apparently at least partially in jest, that he had the power to order their executions.

Sunai Phasuk, senior Thailand researcher at Human Rights Watch, called the cardboard cutouts the latest effort at bullying the media.

"Showing another bizarre contempt of #media scrutiny & criticism, #Thailand #junta leader told reporters to talk to his cardboard," Pasuk tweeted. "Bullying reactions to journalists (are) a threat to #media #freedom."

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Prayuth has called for democratic elections for November 2018, but Prayuth has postponed elections in the past. And the prime minister has thus far resisted political pressure to lift a ban on campaigning.

Seventeen cardboard Prayuths were set up around the government compound ahead of Children's Day on Saturday. The prime minister is depicted in athletic wear, work suits and traditional Thai attire, the Bangkok Post reports.

Children's Day, or Wan Dek, is celebrated in Thailand on the second Saturday in January. The day is meant to teach kids about the many jobs and professions that await adulthood. Military barracks are opened up and children are allowed to visit and pose with guns, tanks and other equipment. A few children are traditionally invited to sit at the prime minister's desk in the Government House.

Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2matqNbSource: Google News Thailand | Netizen 24 Thailand

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