'Ask this guy': Thai officials set up a cardboard cutout of the prime minister as he waved off reporters and walked away

HANGZHOU, CHINA – SEPTEMBER 04: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-cha of Thailand arrives at the Hangzhou Exhibition Center to participate in G20 Summit, on September 4, 2016 in Hangzhou, China. Photo: Etienne Oliveau/Pool/Getty Images

  • Thai officials set up a cardboard cutout of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in front of a microphone and told reporters to address the cutout.
  • The move baffled reporters, who took photos with the cardboard clone.
  • Local media said the move may be part of a Thai tradition on Children’s Day, where cardboard cutouts of the Prime Minister are placed around the Government House.
  • The Prime Minister has recently been critical of the media’s handling of political news.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha came up with a creative solution to avoid recent media questions.

Instead of fronting media himself, Thai officials set up a cardboard cutout of Prayuth in front of a microphone and told reporters to address questions to his 2D counterpart.

“If anyone wants to ask any questions on politics or conflict, ask this guy,” officials said, before the Prime Minister made a peace sign gesture and strolled off without explanation.

The move baffled reporters, who quickly seized the opportunity to take photos with the cutout.

Prayuth had just finished an event at the nation’s Government House to promote the upcoming National Children’s Day on January 13, Thai news site The Nation reported.

At the event, the Prime Minister told hundreds of children about the importance of education and youth engagement in politics.

“We also shouldn’t be afraid of politics. We are politics. Everyone is involved in politics,” said Prayuth, before inserting in his cardboard clone and making his strange departure.

According to The Nation, one of the Children’s Day traditions involves officials setting up large cutouts of Prayuth all around the Government House so children can take photos with him.

But the timing was slightly confusing, with the Prime Minister recently criticising the media’s handling of political news.

“People have been confused and they ask what they had gained after three years of this government,” he told reporters.

“[Media] efforts to deal with big issues have not succeeded. It’s because of lack of confidence in the government, and this affects the government’s stability,” he said.

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