Thai PM ends presser by spraying reporters with disinfectant

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha sprays alcohol mist on a front row of reporters sitting inside the press conference room at Government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 9 , 2021. (AP Photo)

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Politicians are often accused of sanitizing the news. On Tuesday, Thailand’s prime minister sanitized members of the press.

After fielding a slew of questions from journalists at his weekly news conference in Bangkok, the famously mercurial Prayuth Chan-ocha sprayed back — with disinfectant.

Riled by a final question about a possible Cabinet reshuffle, he told reporters to mind their own business, then grabbed a container of alcohol mist and doused the front row before sauntering off.

The quick-tempered former army commander, who overthrew the elected government in a 2014 coup, is known for his unpredictable behavior. In the past, he’s spoken to a media scrum 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 cutout of himself. “Ask this guy,” he said and walked away.