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The Democrats have not completely given up on the Northeast although Phue Thai will clearly win the most seats there. 

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva follows Phraraj Ratanakawi, the ecclesiastical provincial governor of Yasothon, on an alms-collecting round during election campaigning yesterday.


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Not giving up

One reason Phue Thai leaders have seemed so confident recently is the party’s huge apparent lead in the Northeast, the area that sends the most representatives to parliament.

The Northeast is red-shirt country and Phue Thai stands a good chance of making a clean sweep of many of the provinces located there, making it very likely the party will be able to lead the next government.

The Democrats have not completely given up on the area, however. Chief party adviser Chuan Leekpai believes strongly that northeastern voters will not slam the door in the party's face and has tried to point this out to Democrat candidates.

The former premier has been quietly paying visits to residents of the vote-rich area. He pulled some surprises by dropping by pro-red shirt communities to exchange opinions with Pheu Thai supporters.

Mr Chuan has had some success in convincing other Democrats to put up a fight too. Yesterday, party leader and current prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva campaigned in the Phue Thai bastion of Yasothon.

Rather than carrying out large, noisy rallies, however, Mr Abhisit took a more humble approach, taking the role of a temple boy carrying food for a monk during the morning alms-collecting round.

While in a field, he sat down to chat with villagers and also took part in a life-prolonging ritual to ward off evil.

This will certainly please Mr Chuan who believes that what divides Democrats and grass roots people in the Northeast is how the party treats them. We’ll find out whether it will win more votes this Sunday.
 
Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by Manop Thip-Osod

ecclesiastical – of a high-ranking Buddhist monk ราชาคณะ   
alms – food, money, and other items that are given to Buddhist monks;  money, clothes and food that are given to poor people ของทำบุญ ของบริจาค
prolonged – continuing for a long time ยืดเวลาออกไป
campaign – to take part in a planned series of activities (a campaign) designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party รณรงค์หาเสียง
confident – being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
apparent – seeming to be something although it may not be real ดูเหมือนว่า, ตามที่เห็นภายนอก
lead – the position ahead of everyone else in a race or competition  ตำแหน่งนำ
stand a chance – to have the possibility of succeeding or achieving something  มีโอกาส, เป็นไปได้ที่จะ
clean sweep – to win all parts of a competition; to win all the seats in a particular area in an election
located – where something is ตั้งอยู่
likely – probable or expected น่าจะเป็นไปได้
give up – to admit that you can’t win and stop trying ยอมแพ้
adviser – a person who gives advice, especially somebody who knows a lot about a particular subject ที่ปรึกษา
slam – to put, move, or hit something against or onto a surface with great force ตีเสียงดัง
slam the door – to not allow someone to do something; to cut off all communications
point out – to mention something in order to give somebody information about it or make them notice it ชี้ให้เห็น, บ่งชี, ชี้, ระบุ
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
former – of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past อดีต, แต่ก่อน
premier –prime minister นายกรัฐมนตรี
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
vote-rich – having many people who can vote
drop by – to pay an informal visit to a person or a place  เยี่ยมเยียนอย่างไม่เป็นทางการ
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
convince – to make somebody/yourself believe that something is true; to persuade somebody to do something ทำให้เชื่อ, ทำให้แน่ใจ, ชักจูง
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
campaign – to take part in a planned series of activities (a campaign) designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party รณรงค์หาเสียง
bastion; stronghold – an area where there is a lot of support for a political party  ฐานเสียง, ฐานที่มั่น, ขุมกำลัง
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
humble – showing you do not think that you are as important as other people ต่ำต้อย,อ่อนน้อมถ่อมตน
approach – a way of doing or dealing with something; a particular way of doing something or thinking about something การจัดการกับปัญหา วิธีการทำให้ถึงจุดหมาย 
role – the purpose or influence of someone or something in a particular situation บทบาท
alms – food, money, and other items that are given to Buddhist monks;  money, clothes and food that are given to poor people ของทำบุญ ของบริจาค
prolonged – continuing for a long time ยืดเวลาออกไป
ritual – a formal ceremony พิธีการ
ward off – to prevent something unpleasant from harming or coming close to you  ขจัด, ป้องกัน
evil – a force that causes bad things to happen; morally bad behaviour สิ่งที่ชั่วร้าย
please – to make someone feel happy and satisfied ทำให้พอใจ, ทำให้ถูกใจ
grass roots – ordinary people rather than their leaders รากหญ้า, ชาวบ้าน

Related search: Abhisit Vejjajiva, Chuan Leekpai, Thai election 2011

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