PM Prayut Chan-o-cha aims a shotgun alongside shooting athlete Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit at Government House on May 15, 2016. Image: Government House

BANGKOK — An opposition politician on Thursday challenged PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to a trial by combat.

Saranwut Saranke, a Pheu Thai MP for Uttaradit province, made the eccentric proposal during the Parliament’s no-confidence debate.

After suggesting Prayut harbored a disloyalty to the monarchy for failing to recite his oath of office in full in 2019, Saranwut challenged the Prime Minister to prove his allegiance by meeting him for a one-on-one duel in front of the Emerald Buddha Temple.

“Both of us bring a bullet each, then shoot at each other with that one shot,” Saranwut said.


The MP issued the challenge after saying he’s already made his farewell to his children and left them with a will.

Following protests from coalition MP Sira Janejaka – who taunted Saranwut that there’s no need for a duel “because I’ve seen your gun. Your gun is so small,” – the House Speaker chided Saranwut and asked him to withdraw the challenge. Saranwut complied with the demand.

“But let me say I withdrew my word out of respect for the House Speaker,” the MP said.

It’s the second threat of violence made by lawmakers in flares of emotion during the no-confidence debate in two days.

On Wednesday night, Seri Ruam Thai Party MP Sereepisuth Temeeyaves ended a heated exchange with Deputy House Speaker Supachai Phosu by telling him, “I’ll see you outside the Parliament,” prompting an uproar from government lawmakers.

“I’m not afraid of you, Mr. Seree,” Supachai said. “Stop making threats like that.”


In response, Sereepisuth, a former police commissioner, said he only wanted to talk with Supachai in his office, and insisted he did not mean any harm.

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