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Thai election

Prayuth's new party courts Thai voters with pledge of stability

Prime minister's economic czar takes stock of nine-year legacy

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha greets a supporter in Bangkok's Chinatown on April 20. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

BANGKOK -- A swarm follows Prayuth Chan-ocha wherever he goes, even on a casual stroll through Lumphini Park in Bangkok to meet voters in late April. The Thai prime minister greeted tourists, gamely kicked a rattan ball with a group of boys, then smiled for the cameras aboard a duck-shaped pedal boat.

Yellow rubber ducks were a symbol of protest in 2020, when students led mass demonstrations against Prayuth, a retired army general who led a coup in 2014. Protesters used giant inflatable ducks as shields against tear gas and water cannons.

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