Heavyweight Democrat politician Suthep Thuagsuban is expected to win an easy victory over Puea Thai's Voravut Vichaidit in the Surat Thani by-election.
Heavyweight aims to knock out contender
Suthep has little to fear from Puea Thai's Voravut in by-election
Young campaigners from the Youth Council of Surat Thani wear masks of poll candidates Suthep Thaugsuban and Voravut Vichaidit to encourage people to vote in the by-election in Constituency 1 of the southern province on Saturday. SUPAPONG CHAOLAN
The Puea Thai Party has nothing to lose in the very one-sided race with the reigning Democrats in the by-election in Surat Thani Saturday.
The by-election in Constituency 1 pits Voravut Vichaidit of the opposition party against heavyweight politician Suthep Thaugsuban. Both are natives of the southern province but they are in different leagues when it comes to popularity and political experience.
Mr Voravut, a cousin of Puea Thai leader Yongyuth Vichaidit, has adopted a strategy of attacking the political monopoly of the Thaugsubans in Surat Thani but there seems little chance of an upset when the results come out after the ballot booths close tomorrow afternoon.
He has also taken Mr Suthep to task for the deaths of red shirt demonstrators during their rally from March to May when he was deputy prime minister in charge of security and the director of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation.
Mr Voravut has been supported in his campaign by Puea Thai MP Jatuporn Prompan, Puea Thai deputy leader Apiwan Wiriyachai and former party secretary-general Sunee Luangwichit. Key red shirts have lent their backing.
But other Puea Thai MPs have cancelled their plans to help Mr Voravut. Some disagree with the campaign strategy as they believe attacking Mr Suthep over the rally deaths will not work. Others are focusing more on their own constituencies at a time of heavy flooding.
"We cannot compete anyway. We are participating only to test our popularity," said a key Puea Thai figure who asked not to be named.
The seat was left vacant when Democrat Chumpol Kanchana was barred by the Supreme Court from holding political office for five years for filing a false assets declaration with the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Constituency 1 is made up of six districts: Muang, Kanchanadit, Ban Na San, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Wiang Sa. There are 354,820 eligible voters.
The mismatch between the two candidates has meant the contest has generated few headlines. Nevertheless, the Democrats organised a big campaign push on stage last Sunday led by former prime minister Chuan Leekpai and many Democrat MPs.
Mr Suthep has said he would not be complacent despite being tipped to win the contest easily and he has been busily visiting communities in the morning and staging small campaign speeches in the afternoon every day.
One of his messages has been how the government would be able to deal with future red shirt demonstrations.
He is also focusing on preventing a possible clash between local people who oppose the red shirts and the campaign team of Mr Voravut.
Violence or any attempt to block the red shirts from campaigning for the Puea Thai candidate could have a negative impact on Mr Suthep's campaign.
He is also trying hard to make sure no one on his campaign team violates the election laws as he knows Puea Thai is watching for a mistake and plans to use any to ask the Election Commission to disqualify him.
Mr Suthep's resignation as deputy prime minister before contesting the by-election was aimed at minimising the chances of being accused of abusing the authority of his position in the government for the benefit of his campaign.
"This is my happiest moment in two years as I had no time for rest [while deputy prime minister]. I had to solve problems caused by red shirt demonstrations every day," Mr Suthep said during campaigning..
"Today, I am with the people, talking to them and listening to them."
heavyweight – someone or something that has a lot of influence, status, or knowledge คนที่มีอิทธิพลมาก,คนที่ฉลาดมาก
aim – to have as your purpose or goal มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย
contender – someone or something who competes with other people คู่ต่อสู้, คู่แข่ง
by-election – an election held to fill an empty seat in parliament การเลือกตั้งซ่อม
one-sided (of a competition) a situation where one competitor or team is much more powerful than another and should win easily น่าจะชนะอย่างง่ายได้
reigning – currently holding power ครองอำนาจอยู่
constituency – a district that elects its own representative to parliament เขตเลือกตั้ง
pit against – to make someone compete or fight against someone or something else ใช้ ต่อสู้กับ
native – someone who was born in a particular place ชาวพื้นเมือง
to be in a different league – to be at a much different level of ability or strength
popularity – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
cousin – a child of your uncle or aunt; someone who is related to you through a brother, sister, uncle, or aunt of one of your parents ลูกพี่ลูกน้อง, ญาติห่างๆ
adopt – to accept or to start using something new นำมาใช้
strategy– a plan or method for achieving something, especially over a long period of time ยุทธวิธี, แผนการ
monopoly – complete control over something by one organisation or person ระบบผูกขาด
upset – an unexpected over an opponent thought to be stronger การชนะโดยไม่คาดฝัน, พลิกล็อก
ballot – the piece of paper on which someone marks who they are voting for บัตรเลือกตั้ง
take to task – to criticise very strongly; to blame someone for something ดุด่า, ว่ากล่าว
demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
security – protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
resolution – solving a problem, or to finding a satisfactory way of dealing with it การแก้ไขปัญหา
emergency – an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary เหตุฉุกเฉิน
campaign – a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party การรณรงค์หาสียง
lend backing – to give support ให้การสนับสนุน
key – most important ที่สำคัญ
vacant – empty ว่าง
bar – to officially not allow someone to do something or go somewhere ห้าม
file – to officially present something ยื่น
assets – things owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property ทรัพย์สิน
declaration – an official statement that something is true การยืนยัน, คำให้การ
eligible – allowed by rules or laws to do something or to receive something มีสิทธิ
mismatch – a competition in which the two sides do not have the same ability คู่ที่ไม่เหมาะสมกัน
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
generate – to produce ก่อให้เกิด
headline – the title of a newspaper story that is printed in large letters ข่าวพาดหัว
complacent – too confident and relaxed because you think you can deal with something easily, even though this may not be true ที่พึงพอใจ, ชะล่า
tip – to say that something is likely to happen
community – the people who live in an area ชุมชน
stage – to organise an event or activity จัด
clash – a fight between groups of people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
oppose – to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy คัดค้าน
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
block – to use your power to stop something from being done or from succeeding กีดขวาง
negative – bad ที่เป็นด้านลบ
impact – an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
violate – to do something that is against the law ละเมิดกฏหมาย
disqualify – to not allow someone to do something because they have committed an offence ทำให้หมดสภาพ
resignation – the act of leaving a job permanently การลาออกจากตำแหน่ง
contest – to take part in a competition ลงแข่ง
minimise – to reduce something harmful or unpleasant to the smallest amount or degree ลดให้เหลือน้อยที่สุด
abuse authority – the use of power in a bad, dishonest or unlawful way การใช้อำนาจในทางที่ผิด
benefit – an advantage you get from a situation; a helpful or good effect, or something intended to help ผลประโยชน์