Thailand’s prime minister dodged reporters’ questions Monday by deploying a life-sized cardboard cutout and instructing journalists to direct their questions at it.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a general who seized power in a coup a few years ago, turned and walked away after briefly addressing the media Monday, leaving behind a two-dimensional cardboard cutout of himself for questions. “If you want to ask any questions on politics or conflict,” he explained, “ask this guy.”
The cutout was reportedly one of over a dozen such creations made for Children’s Day, which the country will celebrate this weekend.
The cutout elicited laughter, and a number of reporters took selfies with the fake Prayuth, according to the Associated Press.
The peculiar move is not the first unusual exchange between the prime minister and the media, as he has thrown banana peels at cameramen and threatened to execute critical journalists.
Human Rights Watch criticized the prime minister’s act, calling it part of a “long list of his bizarre and bullying reactions to reporters.”
Prayuth’s rise to power was part of what was meant to be a temporary solution to protests and violence in the streets of Thailand, but promises that elections will come to the country have been repeatedly delayed. The prime minister has promised to hold elections in November, but only time will tell.
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