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The general election is likely to come sooner rather than later, the prime minister says. 

A woman identified as workers’ activist Jittra Khotchadej, right, and another woman hold signs saying ‘‘Good only at talking’’ as PM Abhisit addresses Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD


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Snap election 'just weeks away'

PM finds pressure may force quick dissolution

Pradit Ruangdit

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has indicated an early House dissolution is likely to be called later this month or early next month to clear the way for the general election, a highly-placed coalition source said.

The premier's move came as pressure continued to mount against the government, particularly regarding the rising cost of living, falling rice prices and a hike in fuel prices.

A government source said Mr Abhisit had told key figures of the coalition parties that an early House dissolution will probably be called later this month or early next month.

The prime minister is waiting for the opposition's censure debate to end and wanted the Election Commission to complete the redrawing of election constituencies in line with the constitution amendment bill. This relates to the change to the single-seat election system which was recently endorsed by parliament, the source said.

Mr Abhisit said in his weekly televised address yesterday that he will meet the EC next week to discuss the prospects of holding a general election once the constitution amendment bill on the election system is promulgated.

"It is now clearly stated that an election is approaching. I will consult [with the EC] as to what steps are to be taken," Mr Abhisit said. He said dissolving the House in October, as suggested by the coalition parties, would be "too late".

The source said Mr Abhisit wanted an early House dissolution because any further delay could have adverse effects on the country and hurt the popularity of the Democrat Party.

It could be a repeat of the political fallout that cost the Chuan Leekpai government in 2000, the source said.

Observers feel that the announcement of another set of the "populist" measures is a signal that the government is gearing up to hit the hustings for votes.

Mr Abhisit said he will today chair a meeting of the National Rice Policy Committee to consider increasing the guaranteed rice price under the scheme in proportion to rising production costs.

He will also meet the Energy Policy Committee and other relevant agencies to discuss adjusting the amount of diesel price intervention required to ensure the State Oil Fund would have enough capital to cap the price of diesel below 30 baht a litre until the end of April, as promised by the government.

The prime minister also stressed the need for authorities to step up efforts to address the rising price of commodities, particularly palm oil, of which there is a national shortage. The situation is expected to ease next week, he said.

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identified – named  ระบุชื่อ
activist – someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation นักกิจกรรม
address – to speak publicly to a group of people  กล่าวปราศรัย
mark – to celebrate something เพื่อเฉลิมฉลอง
anniversary – a date when you celebrate something that happened in a previous year that is important to you วันครบรอบ
snap election – an election that is called before it is required by law การเลือกตั้งทั่วไปที่จัดทำขึ้นก่อนครบวาระการบริหารประเทศของรัฐบาลที่บริหารงานอยู่
pressure – a force pressing against you or attempting to defeat you ความกดดัน
dissolution (of parliament) –formally ending the House of Representatives, usually leading to a general election การยุบสภา
indicate – to express or explain something ชี้ชัด, ระบุชัด, ชี้บอก
coalition – a temporary union of different political parties that agree to form a government together  พรรคร่วมรัฐบาล
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
mount – to increase เพิ่มขึ้น
particularly – especially, or more than usual โดยเฉพาะ
hike –an increase การเพิ่มสูงขึ้น
key – most important  ที่สำคัญ
figure – someone who is important in some way บุคคลสำคัญ
the opposition – the political party or parties that are not part of the government ฝ่ายค้าน
censure debate – formally criticising a cabinet minister or the full cabinet in a parliamentary session after which members vote to support or reject the การอภิปรายไม่ไว้วางใจ
redraw – to make changes to something such as the borders of a country or region, a plan, an arrangement, etc. ทำให้เปลี่ยนแปลง
constituency – a district that elects its own representative to parliament เขตเลือกตั้ง
in line with – following a rule or system; also in accordance with and consistent with สอดคล้องกับ
constitution – the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by รัฐธรรมนูญ
amendment – a change made to a law or agreement, in this case, to the constitution การแก้ไขกฎหมาย ในที่นี้หมายถึงการแก้ไขรัฐธรรมนูญ
bill – a written document containing a proposal for a new law ญัตติ
endorse – to express support for something แสดงความเห็นชอบ
prospects – the possibility that things will happen, especially something good ความเป็นไปได้
promulgate – to announce a new law or system officially or publicly  ประกาศใช้
approach – to come closer เข้าใกล้
consult – to ask for information or advice from someone หารือ
delay – to make something happen at a later time than originally planned or expected เลื่อน
adverse – having a negative or harmful effect on something ในทางลบ, เป็นผลร้าย
popularity – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
fallout –  the unpleasant effects of something that has happened  ผลร้ายที่ตามมา
populist – related to the type of politics that claims to represent the opinions and wishes of ordinary people or to support programmes that will benefit the ordinary people ประชานิยม
measure – an action that is intended to achieve or deal with something มาตราการ
gear up – a to prepare yourself, or to prepare something for an activity or event  เตรียม (บางสิ่งเช่น เครื่องจักร) ให้พร้อมสำหรับ
hit the hustings – campaigning for election; attending the the political meetings, speeches, etc. that take place in the period before an election รณรงค์หาเสียง
chair – to be the person in charge of a meeting, committee, or company ดำรงตำแหน่งประธาน, ทำหน้าที่ในฐานะประธาน
guarantee – a promise that something will be done or will happen คำรับรอง, การประกัน
scheme – a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people  แผนการ โครงการ
proportion – the relationship of one thing to another in size, amount, etc. สัดส่วน
relevant – directly connected and important to what is being discussed or considered ที่เกี่ยวข้อง
adjust – to change something slightly, especially to make it more correct, effective, or suitable ปรับ
intervention – becoming involved in a situation in order to try to stop or change it  การแทรกแซง
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done  รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ
fund – a sum of money that has been collected and is available to spend on something กองทุน เงินทุน
capital – a large amount of money that is invested or is used ทุน, เงินทุน
cap – to set an upper limit on an amount of money that can be spent or borrowed  ขีดสูงสุด, ครอบ
stress – to emphasise something such as an idea, fact or detail; to explain why something is important เน้น
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
step up – to increase เพิ่ม
address – to deal with a problem จัดการปัญหา
commodity – a product or a raw material that can be bought and sold โภคภัณฑ์
shortage – when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
ease – to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious บรรเทา

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