Election goes ahead, but no parliament likely for months | Bangkok Post: learning

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Election goes ahead, but no parliament likely for months

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It will likely take months before a new parliament can be convened despite the green light for Sunday's general election, the EC says. 

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Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana (left) and EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn announce that despite their differences, the Feb 2 election will be held. CHANAT KATANYU

Poll process to drag on for months

EC fails to persuade govt to delay Sunday election

POST REPORTERS

The decision by the government and the Election Commission (EC) yesterday to proceed with this Sunday's election means the process will not be completed for several months.

The process of calling new elections in problematic constituencies primarily in Bangkok and in the South means an extended election process which could last up to six months, a senior government source said after the meeting.

The prospect of the election proceeding amid rising tension and difficulties arose yesterday after the EC failed to convince the caretaker government to defer the poll.

After two-hours of talks, EC member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn and caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana said the poll is still on because neither can sort out their differences.

It is not perfect but the process will "stumble on" , the senior source said, adding the government stuck to its view that postponing the elections would raise legal complications.

The government went into the meeting with the EC with the view that while the Constitution Court ruled that the election could be postponed and that the government and EC were to work out the details, there was no legal precedent for a postponement.

The government source believes it would come as no surprise if a petition to nullify Sunday's election is filed with the Constitution Court.

The government is prepared for this eventuality, the source said. In this scenario, it would still take months before a new election date could be set.

As a result the government would be prepared to engage in further talks with its opponents to seek a resolution to the ongoing political crisis that has plagued the country for months.

Admittedly, such a situation means that the administration of the country will not be smooth as the current charter restricts the power of the caretaker government, the source said.

The government also believes that if Sunday's polls are postponed there is a greater potential for violence as supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, or red shirts, would mobilise raising the possibility of confrontation with anti-government protesters.

Disgruntled Finance Ministry staff join PDRC leader Suthep Thuagsuban on the Pathumwan stage last night where he vowed to escalate the fight against the Feb 2 election. THITI WANNAMONTHA

People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader Suthep Thaugsuban told demonstrators at the Pathumwan rally site last night that the PDRC would escalate its protest to block Sunday's election.

"For PDRC in every province, let's prepare to use all means not to let the election be a success. We will escalate our protest to oust [caretaker Prime Minister] Yingluck [Shinawatra] and her subordinates before Feb 2," he said.

Mr Somchai told reporters the EC laid out a number of obstacles and difficulties at yesterday's meeting and warned it might take as long as six months to form a new government, but the government sees things differently.

"The government says voting should be organised until we have all the MPs. So this means we can't agree on the postponement," said Mr Somchai.

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Vocabulary:

administration: the process or act of organising the way that something is done - การบริหาร

admittedly: it is true that -

amid: at the same time as - ท่ามกลาง

arise: to happen as a result of a particular situation - เกิดขึ้น

block: to stop something from being done or from succeeding - ปิด, กีดขวาง

caretaker: in charge for a short time, until a new leader or government is chosen - รักษาการ

caretaker government: a temporary government that is in charge of a country until a new government is elected - รัฐบาลชั่วคราวที่ตั้งขึ้นเพื่อรอการเลือกตั้งครั้งใหม่

charter: a constitution - รัฐธรรมนูญ

complication: something which makes a situation more difficult, or when it does this - การทำให้ยาก, การทำให้ยุ่ง

confrontation: a situation in which people or groups are arguing angrily or are fighting - การเผชิญหน้า

constituency: a district that elects its own representative to parliament - เขตเลือกตั้ง

Constitution Court: the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ

convince: to make somebody/yourself believe that something is true; to persuade somebody to do something - ทำให้เชื่อ, ทำให้แน่ใจ, ชักจูง

crisis: a situation that has reached and extremely difficult or dangerous point - ช่วงวิกฤต

current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน

defer: to arrange for something to happen at a later time - ยืดเวลา เลื่อนออกไป

delay: to do something later than is planned or expected; to cause something to happen at a later time - เลื่อน, เลื่อนเวลา

deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

details: small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation - รายละเอียด

disgruntled: disappointed and annoyed about something - ซึ่งทำให้ไม่พอใจ, ซึ่งทำให้ขุ่นเคือง

drag on: to continue for a long time, especially something bad or unnecessary - ยืดเวลาออกไปโดยไม่จำเป็น

Election Commission: the independent government agency that oversees elections - คณะกรรมการเลือกตั้ง

engage in: to take part in a particular activity - มีส่วนร่วมใน

escalate: to make something increase in amount or strength; to make larger; to scale up; to ramp up - ยกระดับ; เสริม

eventuality: something that might happen, especially something bad that people might have to deal with - เหตุร้ายที่อาจเกิดขึ้น

extend: to continue for a particular period of time or to add more time - ยืดออกไป

file: to take official action like making a complaint - ยื่น, ยื่นคำร้อง

legal: relating to the law - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย

means: methods; ways - วิธี, วิธีการ

mobilise: to bring together for a particular purpose - ระดมพล

nullify: to make a legal agreement or decision have no legal force - ทำให้โมฆะ, ทำให้ไร้ผล

obstacle: a difficulty or problem that prevents you from achieving something - อุปสรรค ขวากหนาม

ongoing: continuing - อย่างต่อเนื่อง

opponent: someone who disagrees with you or who is competing against you - ผู้ไม่เห็นด้วยกับ, ฝ่ายตรงข้าม

oust: to force to leave a position of power - ขับออกจากอำนาจ

perfect: having everything that is necessary; complete and without faults or weaknesses - สมบูรณ์แบบ

persuade: to make someone agree to do something by giving them reasons why they should - โน้มน้าวใจ เกลี้ยกล่อม

petition: an official document in which you ask a court to take legal action - คำร้องต่อศาล

plagued: caused a lot of problems for someone or something for a long period of time - ทำให้ยุ่งยาก ลำบากมานาน

poll: an election - การเลือกตั้ง

postpone: to delay; to decide that something will be done at a later time - เลื่อนออกไป

potential: what is possible - ความเป็นไปได้

precedent: an action, situation or decision which has already happened and which can be used as a reason why a similar action or decision should be performed or taken - มาตรฐานในการตัดสิน, ตัวอย่างหรือแบบอย่างที่มีมาก่อน

problematic: causing or involving problems - ก่อปัญหา

proceed: to continue as planned - ดำเนินการ

process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ

prospect: the possibility that something will happen - โอกาส

protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

raise: to bring up a subject for discussion - ยกขึ้นมาเป็นประเด็น

reporter: someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว

resolution: solving a problem, or to finding a satisfactory way of dealing with it - การแก้ไขปัญหา

restrict: to limit - จำกัด

rule (of a court): to make a decision - พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด

scenario: a description of possible actions or events in the future - การสมมติสภาพที่เลวร้ายที่เป็นไปได้

senior: with a high rank or position - อาวุโส

situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์

smooth: happening or continuing without any problems - โดยไม่มีปัญหา, มีประสิทธิภาพ

sort out: to deal satisfactorily or successfully with a problem, a situation, or a person who is having difficulties - จักการ แก้ปัญหา

source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว

staff: workers employed by a person or organisation considered as a group - คณะผู้ทำงาน, คนงาน

stick to: to refuse to change your mind about something even when other people are trying to persuade you that you are wrong - ยึดมั่น

stumble on: to continue, but not smoothly and without difficulties -

subordinate: someone who has less power or authority than someone else - ผู้ใต้บังคับบัญชา สมุน

tension: the feeling caused by a lack of trust between people, groups or countries - ความตึงเครียด

United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD): the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which led the fight against the Abhisit government. They are known for wearing red shirts - แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาติ

violence: physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย

vow: to make a formal and serious promise to do something - สาบาน, ปฏิญาณ

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