Selfless commander. Loyal patriot. Professional politician. Silver fox songwriter. Science guy?
Of all the guises adopted over the years by Prayuth Chan-ocha, it turned out that if you put the prime minister in a lab coat, everyone loses their minds.
For what was meant to be an ordinary photo op for Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s low-key campaign to remain prime minister after the coming election, his handlers suited him up in a white lab coat at Chulalongkorn University’s Halal Science Center and photographed him doing sciency stuff.
While the visit was meant to highlight his administration’s push to promote Thai halal products on the international market, it was quickly overshadowed by Dr. Prayuth and his very serious face.
The scorn train pulled in just as soon as the photos were published yesterday by his press office.
“Can he even read?” Parnchanok Sundaravej asked aloud on a photo of Prayuth examining the packaging of some food product.
“Can his brain even receive information?” Supak Thongmak wondered about a picture of a researcher explaining things to a spaced out Prayuth.
“Is wearing a lab coat and pointing at things supposed to make you smarter?” Nobpharat Yawut commented on a photo of the unsure-looking prime minister pointing hesitantly toward a monitor while a female researcher looks on encouragingly.
Most notably, a picture of the 68-year-old retired general grasping a flask without any protective gear was said to have filled up with so much mockery and derision that it was later removed by the powers that be.
Prayuth, who presided over the nation as a dictator with absolute power after staging a coup in 2014, is seeking a second term as prime minister after his military-backed coalition came out on top in the 2019 general election. The election rules rewritten by his former junta to tip the balance of power in Prayuth’s direction remain in place for the next election, currently set for May 7.
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