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The general election campaign was in full swing yesterday, showing both the silly and serious side of Thai politics. 

Krungsrivilai Suthinphuak, centre, a Bhumjaithai Party candidate in Constituency 5 of Samut Prakan province, and his assistants show off their shaven heads in Muang Samut Prakan district where he registered his candidacy yesterday. SOMCHAI POOMLARD


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The campaign gets silly and serious

The general election campaign was in full swing yesterday, showing both the silly and serious side of Thai politics.

Krungsrivilai Suthinphuak, a Bhumjaithai Party candidate in Constituency 5 of Samut Prakan province, took the silliness prize when he appeared with a group of his assistants to show off their newly-shaven heads.

Mr Krungsrivilai said the publicity stunt was intended to get the message across that he was clean with an unblemished track record.

Reuters photo

Here in Bangkok, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva learned the hard way that cameras are everywhere on the campaign trail. Yesterday, a Reuters photographer caught him in a unflattering moment as he grimaced as he bit into some tough-looking meatballs a vendor had given him in Phaya Thai district.

His main rival, Yingluck Shinawatra of the Phue Thai party had an easier day, campaigning in Udon Thani in front of friendly crowds throughout the day and evening.

Speaking in front of the provincial hall, the younger sister of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said she expected similar support to what he had received and would serve on her brother's behalf.

She, too, had her silly moments earlier in the day as she toured the town in a samlor, accompanied by Pheu Thai heavyweights Sanoh Thienthong and Pracha Promnok.

The election campaign is not all fun and games however. Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen, deputy national police chief announced the establishment of an ad-hoc centre to coordinate law enforcement and peace-keeping operations in 10 provinces where election competition is expected to be tough and may involve violence.

The 10 so-called "red-zone" provinces include Bangkok, Khon Kaen, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Roi Et, Udon Thani, Samut Prakan, and Ubon Ratchathani.

Pol Gen Pongsapat said security measures had been put in place based on new information supplied by locals and the history of past elections.

Ranongrak Suwunchwee, Chart Pattana Puea Pandin list candidate and former ICT minister, raises the hands of her sons, Polpee, left, and Piraporn before a crowd of supporters in Nakhon Ratchasima. PRASIT TANGPRASERT

In Nakorn Ratchasima, the threat of violence is serious enough for the sons of late veteran politician Pairoj Suwunchwee to request police protection in the constituencies where they are running.

Adapted from several stories in today’s Bangkok Post. For more election-related vocabulary, click here: http://bit.ly/jxSPGW

candidate – a person who is trying to win an elected position ผู้สมัคร
constituency – a district that elects its own representative to parliament เขตเลือกตั้ง
register – to put your name and other information on an official list in order to be allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, stay in a hotel etc ลงทะเบียน
candidacy –the fact of being a candidate (= a person competing for a position) in an election การเป็นผู้สมัคร,การเสนอตัว
campaign – a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party การรณรงค์หาสียง
silly – stupid or embarrassing, especially in a way that is more typical of a child than an adult เซ่อ, บอ    
in full swing – having reached a very lively or busy level ดำเนินไปอย่างแข็งขันเต็มที่ที่สุด
publicity stunt – something that is done to get attention for the person or people responsible for it
intended – planned; wanted to happen  ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น
message – an important idea that someone is trying to communicate ประเด็น, เนื้อความ
unblemished – not spoiled, damaged or marked in any way บริสุทธิ์, สะอาด
track record – (your reputation what people think of you), based on the things that you have done ภาพรวมของผลงานที่ผ่านมาซึ่งเป็นที่รับรู้
campaign trail – the events and activities that are part of an election campaign กิจกรรมในการรณรงค์หาสียง
unflattering – making somebody/something seem worse or less attractive than they really are ไม่ประจบสอพลอ
moment – a very short period of time; a particular time or occasionชั่วขณะ, โอกาสสำคัญ
grimace – to make an ugly expression with your face to show pain, disgust, etc ทำหน้าตาบูดเบี้ยว,แหกหูแหกตา, ทำหน้าบูดบึ้ง
tough – difficult to cut or chew เหนียว, ที่เคี้ยวยาก
vendor – someone who sells something, but not in a shop พ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย
rival – a person you are competing against or opposing คู่แข่ง
serve – to be useful to somebody in achieving or satisfying something รับใช้, ให้ความช่วยเหลือ, มีประโยชน์
on behalf (of) – as a representative of ในนามของ ในฐานะของ
heavyweight – someone or something that has a lot of influence, status, or knowledge คนที่มีอิทธิพลมาก,คนที่ฉลาดมาก
establishment – the process of starting or creating something การสถาปนา, การก่อตั้ง, การจัดตั้ง
ad-hoc – done only when needed for a specific purpose, without planning or preparation เกี่ยวกับสิ่งนี้โดยเฉพาะ
coordinate – to organise the different parts of a job or plan so that the people involved work together effectively ประสานงานกัน
law enforcement – the process of making sure that people obey the law การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers การปฏิบัติการ
competition – an organised event in which people try to win something การแข่งขัน
tough – difficult to do or to deal with ยาก  ยากลำบาก
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
so-called – said to be something but which may not be true ที่เป็นที่รู้กัน (ซึ่งบางครั้งอาจไม่เป็นจริงก็ได้)
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
locals – people who live in a particular place ชาวบ้าน
threat – a danger อันตราย
late – dead ที่ล่วงลับไปแล้ว
veteran – a person who has a lot of experience in a particular area or activity (สส.)หน้าเก่า, (สส.) หลายสมัย, ผู้อาวุโส

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