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Thai PM sprays reporters with disinfectant after getting upset with questions at news conference

The Prime Minister of Thailand sanitized members of the press after fielding a slew of questions from journalists at his weekly news conference in Bangkok.

Upset with a final question about a possible Cabinet reshuffle, PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, told reporters to mind their own business, he then grabbed a container of alcohol mist and doused the front row before sauntering off.

The incident occurred after the Thai prime minister survived a no-confidence vote in parliament two weeks ago amid allegations that his government mismanaged the economy, bungled the provision of COVID-19 vaccines, abused human rights and fostered corruption. Nine other ministers also survived the vote.

It marked the second no-confidence test that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government has faced since taking office in July 2019, following a contested election after Prayuth seized power in a 2014 coup as the army chief. In February last year, he and five Cabinet ministers easily defeated a no-confidence vote in the lower house.

The quick-tempered former army commander is known for his unpredictable behaviour. In the past, he’s spoken to the media while fondling the ear of one of the reporters and flung a banana peel at camera operators.

After an event in 2018 he declined to speak to the media, and instead set up a life-size cut-out of himself. “Ask this guy,” he said and walked away.