Thailand PM defers media questions to cardboard cutout of himself

By On January 11, 2018

Thailand PM defers media questions to cardboard cutout of himself

close Raw video: Thailand's prime minister uses unique method to avoid questions from journalists.Video

Thai PM leaves cardboard cutout to answer press' questions

Raw video: Thailand's prime minister uses unique method to avoid questions from journalists.

This is one way to not speak to the press.

Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha evaded journalists’ questions on Monday by leaving a life-sized cardboard cutout of himself and telling reporters to quiz it instead.

“If you want to ask any questions on politics or conflict, ask this guy,” Prayuth said before quickly turning his heel and walking off.

In this image from video, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, left, waves and walks off as a life-sized cardboard cut-out figure of himself is placed next to the microphone during a media conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday Jan. 8, 2018.  Prayuth 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" then turned on his heel and walked off, leaving the mock-up behind, to bemused looks and awkward laughter from the assembled media. (TPBS via AP)

Thailand's Prime Minister, Pra yuth Chan-ocha, waves and walks off, as a cardboard cut-out is placed next to a microphone. (AP)

The dodging tactic came after the prime minister briefly addressed the media after attending an event at the Government House promoting the upcoming Children’s Day.

It isn't the first time Prayuth â€" a general who seized power in a bloodless coup in 2014 â€" has dumbfounded the media. In the past he has fondled the ear of a sound technician for several minutes during an impromptu news conference, flung a banana peel at cameramen, and threatened, with gruff humor, to execute any journalist who criticized his government.

When it took power, his government, packed with military leaders, enjoyed considerable public support for ending a prolonged period of often-violent street politics. But as the junta's rule has stretched on, criticism of its often-repressive policies and lack of transparency has grown markedly.

In this image from video, a life-sized cardboard cut-out figure of Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, stands next to the microphone and faces the media after the Prime Minister left the sce   ne, in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday Jan. 8, 2018.  Prayuth 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", he then turned on his heel and walked off, leaving the mock-up behind, to bemused looks and awkward laughter from the assembled media. (TPBS via AP)

A life-sized cardboard cut-out figure of Thailand's Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, stands next to a microphone. (AP)

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

The prime minister's stunt on Monday was slammed by Human Rights Watch which said it shows the military junta chief’s “contempt of media criticism” in a country yet to restore democracy since a 2014 coup.

“Thailand’s junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha continues to show contempt of media criticism and scrutiny,” Sunai Phasuk, senior Thailand researcher at Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang

Source: Google News Thailand | Netizen 24 Thailand

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