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Sunday battlegrounds

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Former ministers face tough battles in Sunday's by-elections. 

Puea Thai Party candidate Apicha Lertpatcharakamol greets vendors as he campaigns for votes in downtown Chok Chai district, Nakhon Ratchasima. He is competing against former interior minister Boonjong Wongtrairat from the coalition Bhumjaithai Party in Constituency 6 in the Dec 12 byelection.

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Closely watched by-elections

There are several by-elections on Sunday and the one which is probably receiving the most attention takes place in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Constituency 6.

There, former deputy interior minister Boonjong Wongtrairat is trying to win back the seat which he lost when he was disqualified by the Constitution Court for unconstitutional shareholding.

Mr Boonjong, a right-hand man of Newin Chidchob, the de facto leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, is expected to face a tough battle to retain the seat.

He not only faces a strong candidate from his old Puea Thai party but discontented coalition MPs have joined the opposition to ‘‘knock out’’ Mr Boonjong.

Puea Thai candidate Apicha Lertpatcharakamol has received backing from Pairote Suwanchawee, de facto leader of the Puea Pandin Party and Suwat Liptapanlop, main backer of the Ruam Chart Pattana Party.

Even ousted  prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has taken an interest in the by-election. A source at Puea Thai said former transport minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisarn travelled to Montenegro last month to meet Mr Thaksin to discuss campaign strategies for the by-election. Mr Pongsak, a close aide of Thaksin, also met Mr Suwat and Mr Pairote to seek their support for the Puea Thai candidate in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Another closely watched election will be in Ayutthaya where former deputy transport minister Kuerkul Danchaivichit, who was also disqualified for his shareholdings, tries to win back his old seat. He is opposed by Puea Thai’s Ong-art Wachirapong.

Adapted from a story by Aikarach Sattaburuth published in the Bangkok Post.

by-election – an election carried out to fill the position of someone who has died, resigned or been forced out  การเลือกตั้งซ่อม
constituency – a district that elects its own representative to parliament เขตเลือกตั้ง
disqualify – to not allow someone to do something  because they have committed an offence หมดสภาพ
unconstitutional – against the rules stated in the constitution ไม่เป็นไปตามรัฐธรรมนูญ
shareholding – the amount of a company or business that somebody owns in the form of shares การถือหุ้น
de-facto – in reality;  in fact อย่างแท้จริง, อันที่จริง, ตามความจริง
tough – difficult to do or to deal with ยาก
retain – to keep รักษา
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
discontented – unhappy because you are not satisfied with your situation ซึ่งไม่พอใจ
coalition – a temporary union of different political parties that agree to form a government together  พรรคร่วมรัฐบาล
the opposition – the elected politicians who belong to the largest party which does not form the government พรรคฝ่ายค้าน
backing – support การสนับสนุน
backer – someone who supports someone or something ผู้สนับสนุน
ousted – forced out of a position of power ขับออกจากอำนาจ
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
campaign – a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party การรณรงค์หาสียง
strategy– a plan or method for achieving something, especially over a long period of time ยุทธวิธี, แผนการ 
aide – someone whose job is to help another person in their work ผู้ช่วย

Related search: Nakorn Ratchasima by-election, Boonjong Wongtrairat

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