Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed his appreciation to Miss Thailand, Chalita "Namtan" Suansane, for making the final six before being eliminated in Monday's Miss Universe Pageant in the Philippines.
Gen Prayut congratulated Ms Chalita or Nong Namtan for doing well in the 65th pageant, an event won twice by Thai women, in 1965 and 1988.
"Even though Ms Chalita did not win the contest, I believe she wins the hearts of Thai people," Gen Prayut said. "I believe she was doing her best in the competition. She is a source of Thai pride."
He said he was delighted with Ms Chalita and gave her moral support.
The final round of the Miss Universe Pageant finished Monday morning and Ms Chalita, 21, a Samut Prakan native and university student, made her way to the final six before being eliminated.
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The winner was Miss France, Iris Mittenaere. Miss Haiti was the first runner-up and Miss Colombia finished third.
A total of 85 candidates took part in the competition.
The prime minister thanked Ms Chalita for representing the country and helping to promote unique Thai culture to other candidates.
Gen Prayut said he felt proud when Miss Thailand spoke about King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the question round, and praised him.
Meanwhile, Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanich said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who also serves as defence minister, watched the contest and supported Ms Chalita to be crowned as Miss Universe.
Gen Prawit was disappointed that Ms Chalita, who was doing well, failed to make her way to the final round, he added.
Maj Gen Kongcheep said Gen Prawit was speaking to media members before attending a meeting at the Defence Council meeting, which he chaired.
Gen Prawit described Ms Chalita as "beautiful and perfect. She was doing so well in the question round."
He said he wanted to vote for Miss Thailand in the internet voting but he did know how.