Thai premier Prayut asks fortune teller to stop predictions after controversy

BANGKOK - Thailand's prime minister Prayut Chan-Ocha has asked a popular fortune-teller to stop reading his future after a recent prediction related to the premier's term in office led to an uproar.

Warin Buawiratlert forecast on Sunday that Mr Prayut would remain in power for three more years, the Bangkok Post reported.

The prediction dovetailed with the junta-led government's assertion that it would stay in power until its goals were accomplished. But Mr Prayut has also promised to hold a general election by next year.

The premier shrugged off the astrologer's prediction and reiterated that the timeline in the roadmap for the restoration of democracy would be followed.

"I don't know, you ask him," Mr Prayut told journalists when asked about the prediction on Tuesday. "I have my own roadmap and I've sent a signal to fortune teller Warin that he should not make any more prediction. And I hope he won't," he said.

Mr Warin is a popular astrologer among many retired and active generals as well as politicians in Thailand. He was reportedly closely consulted by erstwhile army general Sonthi Boonyaratkalin before he unseated then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a 2006 coup.

Mr Warin made headlines last Sunday when he said elections would be held next year as promised and Mr Prayut would stay in office for about three more years.

The prediction was met with jubiliation among supporters of Mr Prayut but opposition Red-shirt member Chinnawat Habunpad urged people not to be carried away.

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