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Cool uncle PRAWIT makeover

Prawit Wongsuwan during a recent Lunar New Year trip to Bangkok’s Chinatown.

General Prawit Wongsuwan’s image as the head of the government seems to be being reimagined by the ruling party. Modern clothing that is popular among youthful, fashion-conscious celebrities half his age has been added to his collection.

The 77-year-old, who is also the deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs, recently showed up during unofficial visits to several areas in Bangkok and the provinces wearing Calvin Klein pants, a Gucci jacket, and an eye-catching Hugo Boss hoodie.

During the recent Lunar New Year, Prawit visited Bangkok’s Chinatown while dressed in a bright red shirt, a dark-green Gucci bomber jacket, pants, and sneakers.

Late in January, Prawit was seen walking around the upmarket MFO (Or Tor Kor) Market wearing a zip-up jacket from the Thai designer label Issue. The jacket had a colorful tiger and dragon design that was made popular by certain personalities in show business who portrayed themselves as “bad boys.”

Early in February, the deputy premier ambushed early-morning joggers in Lumpini Park in Bangkok. Prawit was wearing a green polo shirt and a grey Adidas warm-up jacket as he walked quickly. Others on the street greeted him and several of them wished him luck in the next general election.

On February 18, Prawit was seen with his nieces at well-known eateries in the Giant Swing neighborhood of Bangkok. He was sporting a Boss x Khaby zip-up sweater with a vibrant, Khaby Lame-inspired yellow and purple design.

a decent and amiable uncle?

In an apparent effort to shed his reputation as a military strongman, the former Army chief has also adopted a new trendy appearance and a civilian image as a warm and welcoming uncle. Prawit has taken on a friendly, approachable attitude as he mixes with the general population in markets and neighborhoods, taking photographs with fans and participating in group activities like walks in the park and traditional Thai dancing.

The “makeover” for Prawit’s reputation appeared to begin in late August, when his now estranged brother-in-arms, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, was placed on administrative leave while the Constitutional Court considered whether to limit his term as PM. When Prawit visited the regions on the weekends back then, he was often seen wearing tight pants.

Recent media reports that Prawit’s more laid-back appearance was a component of the Palang Pracharath Party’s election campaign plan were refuted by Prawit.

This is how I typically dress, he proclaimed.

Political analysts, however, continue to believe that Prawit is using the avuncular appearance to win over young people. He will be the only candidate put out by the ruling party for prime minister in the upcoming election, the party recently decided.

focusing on young voters

The head of Krirk University’s Political Communication College, Assoc. Prof. Nantana Nantavaropas, claimed that Prawit appears to be vying with PM Prayut and other future PM contenders for the millions of young voters.

She claimed that political parties are focusing on Generation Y and Z voters, who are between the ages of 18 and 42 and many of whom are first-time voters who have not yet chosen a party to support. Gen X and baby boomer voters, on the other hand, frequently show loyalty to more established and established parties, she continued.

The estimated number of baby boomers in Thailand is 11 million, followed by 16 million Gen X voters (aged 43 to 58), 15 million Gen Y voters (aged 27 to 42), and roughly 7 million Gen Z residents (aged 11-26).

General Prayut has also altered his fashion sense as the election countdown progresses, according to Nantana.

“In the past, he frequently wore business suits, khaki uniforms, or military garb. Yet these days, he does constituency trips dressed in a jacket like other lawmakers. This is intended to demonstrate that he is more approachable, she said.

According to the professor, Prawit and Prayut both used the political gimmick of stylish clothing and a kind demeanor to win over young voters. She doesn’t think this tactic will work, though.

Voters frequently base their choices on how confident they are in the parties. They frequently vote for the political party whose philosophies and agenda best serve their interests.

In the prior election, which took place in March 2019, PM Prayut was the only contender for prime minister from Palang Pracharath. He just left, though, to join a brand-new group called Ruam Thai Sang Chart (United Thai Nation), and is anticipated to run as its single candidate for prime minister in the upcoming election, which is slated to take place on May 7.

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