A moment they’d all been waiting for – seeing former junta leader Prayuth Chan-o-cha in the hot seat before parliament – went over about as well as could be expected online, where the reaction was harsh and swift.
#PrayuthGetOut exploded across Twitter on Wednesday as the retired general and prime minister faced an opposition grilling over his failure to recite his full oath of office. A frothy outpouring of discontent began about as soon as Prayuth, 65, took the dais to deliver a rapid-fire and entirely off-topic speech.
ประยุทธ์บอกว่าการว่างงานต้องไปดูว่าเกิดจากการเลือกงานหรือเปล่า แหม ใครจะไปเลือกงานได้แบบลุงล่ะครับ เลือกให้ตัวเองไม่พอ เลือกให้เพื่อนๆ อีกหลายตำแหน่งเลย #ประชุมสภา #ประยุทธ์ออกไป pic.twitter.com/wOT3jVKD2Q
— บอล ธนวัฒน์ วงค์ไชย (@tanawatofficial) September 18, 2019
Twitter leans decidedly pro-democratic and can be a difficult place to find much support for Prayuth’s leadership. Many users tweeted that the “Get Out” response was the social movement they’d “been waiting for.”
Exacly what I’ve been waiting for.. #ประยุทธ์ออกไป
— cuatroenneye (@cuatroenne) September 18, 2019
Pretty sure it still wouldn’t affect him since he’s ‘naa daan’ (หน้าด้าน) as fuck. But good job for getting it trending!
— Choltanutkun T. (@CholtanutkunT) September 18, 2019
After roughly half an hour of nonstop talking in his signature, peevish style on everything from the tax code to state budgeting and his own government’s policies; Prayuth yielded to another MP who pointed out that nothing he’d said had anything to do with the actual topic of the debate.
Prayuth then resumed speaking, sometimes angrily, until about 4pm without ever addressing the oath of office.
“Today, I’m not as angry as I have been before. I love everyone because you are al Thai. We’re from the same country, do we want to draw blood from each other?” said Prayuth ending his rant with a smile.
At about 4pm, just after Prayuth had finished speaking, Rangsiman Rome of the Future Forward Party noted that he had left the building. Pro-establishment politico Parina Kraikup responded that Prayuth had “important business” to attend to and had not “run away” as Rangsiman suggested.
Online, Thais weighed in to say they were unimpressed by Prayuth’s lightning-speed rant.
“When you talk, you don’t make sense. How are you going to manage the country to prosperity?” @Satin_wood tweeted during the speech.
พูดยังไม่รู้เรื่องเลย…แล้วมันจะมาเป็นผู้นำ มาบริหารประเทศให้เจริญได้ยังไง #ประยุทธ์ออกไป
— ชอบผู้ชายมุ้งมิ๊ง (@satin_wood) September 18, 2019
“Why are you talking so fast. You didn’t even answer all the questions! Come back here you ghoul,” @Pea061 Tweeted at 3:42pm.
— Pea06 (@Pea061) September 18, 2019
User @Komurola_hyun reacted to the moment in four iconic memes: “My face when I saw the hashtag #PrayuthGetOut.”
— ผัวทิพย์ (@Komurola_hyun) September 18, 2019
@Chii_sha was among those going as far declaring Prayuth’s the “worst government ever,” tweeting: “Since I’ve been alive, I’ve never seen such a crap government as this.”
— i…namsom (@chii_sha) September 18, 2019
— Dear KJD | BP (@Boomi_chen921) September 18, 2019
— พั้นฉึกฉึก (@Vana_Stitch) September 18, 2019
[Ed. note: As of publication time, we were trying to find something Pro-Prayuth on Twitter and had to turn to Facebook for a supportive statement.]
“Fight on, Prayuth!” Facebook user Sukkaree Reddavi wrote this afternoon.