Former House Speaker Chuan Leekpai has rushed to defend Prawit Wongsuwan, after he was seemingly pictured asleep in parliament, and not for the first time.
A viral photo appears to show the outgoing deputy PM, as famous for his watch collection as he is for his naps, having a snooze during the first parliamentary session of the incoming government earlier this week.
The session on Tuesday, July 4, was held to elect the new House Speaker, Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, leader of the Prachachat Party and two deputy speakers.
According to a Coconuts.co report, former House Speaker Chuan was steadfast in his support of Prawit, saying he did well for attending the entire session, given that he’s 77 years old (we figure that is somewhat of a pre-requisite for an elected official to turn up to parliament).
The photo of the retired army general asleep during the parliamentary session was widely shared online, with Thai netizens mocking the outgoing deputy PM. Speaking in his defence, Chuan says it doesn’t matter if Prawit was asleep or just resting his face.
For his part, Prawit has strenuously denied that he was asleep, despite what appears to be compelling photographic evidence.
“Well, who would go to sleep? Who would go to sleep? That’s how I’ve always been sitting like this all along. I’ve never slept. I immediately got up and left as soon as the session ended.”
Chuan is not alone in defending Prawit, with an assistant government spokesperson condemning those who shared the photo. Patchasak Pataripanon says Prawit merely bowed his head and raised it again just after the photo was taken.