Opinion divided as Prayut launches social media campaign
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Opinion divided as Prayut launches social media campaign

The Facebook page of Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha, which was launched on Sunday.
The Facebook page of Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha, which was launched on Sunday.

Comments were piling up on the Facebook account of Prayut Chan-o-cha after the prime minister launched his campaigns on social media, including Twitter, Instagram and a website.

"I would like to open my Facebook personal account as another channel to communicate my policies and work, as well as those of the government," Gen Prayut wrote on the launch of the @prayutofficial account on Sunday.

Since many people use Facebook for communication, he said, he would jump onto the platform too. 

"If you have suggestions, want to exchange views or want me to solve your problems, please tell me," the prime minister wrote.

Besides Facebook, he has also launched a website, www.prayutchan-o-cha.com, the prayutofficial Instagram account and the @prayutofficial Twitter page.

The one attracting the most attention, however, has been the Facebook page. It had drawn thousands of comments, almost 50,000 'likes' and more than 50,000 followers by 1.30pm on Monday. 

"Love Uncle Tu. I beg you to stay on as prime minister," one person wrote, calling Gen Prayut by his nickname, Tu.

"You have promised that it won't take that long and soon we'll see our beautiful country restored once again. Now it's five years already, Uncle Tu" another quipped, citing his promise in one of the prime minister's trademark songs, Returning Happiness to All Thais.

Other comments included "there are many out there to support you", "all six people in my house love you" and "time for you to step down".

Gen Prayut's social media campaign was launched after the National Council for Peace and Order eased a ban on political activities for parties -- but still bars them from using the digital platform for political campaigns.

Gen Prayut, however, is not alone amongst political figures in using Facebook to send out messages, air opinions or promote their activities. Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, her brother Thaksin, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit are already there -- with considerably more followers.

But as the latecomer to the social media party, Gen Prayut's numbers are growing rapidly.

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