Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha cuts a ramwong rug with some local women after arriving at the new Khon Kaen railway station on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)
NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha crooned a love song and boasted of his government's achievements Wednesday during an official visit to the country's northeast ahead of the March 24 election.
He appeared before a crowd of thousands on a trip that was nominally part of his official duties. By making the visit "official", Gen Prayut can probably escape legal scrutiny for illegal campaigning.
The style of the visit closely resembled what many people would consider campaigning, and he has been carrying out such activities for several months.
"We achieved so much in five years," he told the crowd. "If we can continue to pass another five years, we can achieve even more."
He made sure to remind supporters he was born in an army camp in Nakhon Ratchasima in 1954. "It's up to you whom you will choose to pick up this work," he said
Supporters chanted "Stay on longer, Uncle Tu," using his nickname. Gen Prayut greeted and took selfies with fans who came to welcome him, and he warmed to the hometown audience.
"I am stopping here, with you, because you are the best," he sang laughingly to them, cribbing from a love song. The sentiments he held toward his home province extended to all Thailand's 77 provinces, he told them, declaring his heart was "with you, you, you and you."
Earlier Wednesday, he was greeted by a large crowd as he presided over the opening of a newly renovated train station in Khon Kaen.