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Not cut out for the job: Thai PM's stunt bemuses public

AFP  |  Bangkok 

Thais were left bemused by the latest antics of Thai Chan-O-Cha after he told reporters to direct any serious questions to a cardboard cut-out of himself.

Talking to reporters outside House yesterday, turned the media's attention to the life-size likeness after an dutifully placed the cut-out in front of a microphone.

"Whoever wants to take a picture, ask political questions... about conflict... ask this guy," joked before saying "bye bye" and flashing sign language for 'I love you' before swaggering away.

His humorous approach to the media did not go unnoticed by Thai users.

Many were left befuddled by Prayut's casual attitude to

Others said it was in character for an authoritarian former general who has stamped out dissent since seizing power four years ago.

"If you don't have the ability to answer people's questions, how can you solve people's problems?" Phanuphong Thongfueang posted on

Some were less charitable. Prayut "is an idiot" was a common refrain among many comments on the subject today.

Another post by accused Prayut, who is also Thailand's prime minister, of showing "bad manners" while calling out Thailand's for being pliant before the kingdom's

Since seizing power in a 2014 coup by deposing then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Prayut has developed a reputation for his rough treatment of the media.

On separate occasions, he has tossed a banana peel at a cameraman, threatened to smack someone with his podium and pulled a by the ear.

Many Thais now believe he is remodelling himself as a fun-loving, likeable character -- instead of a grim-faced ex- general -- in time for elections slated for later this year.

Last week Prayut told reporters he was no longer an army man but a "politician" -- although he has been coy on whether he will seek to become the country's first since Yingluck.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 20:50 IST