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April: Month of political chaos?

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Latest: PM testifies in person at NACC. Analysts say political temperatures could be at hot season levels during April as court decisions threaten to break the caretaker government, prompting a response from its red-shirt supporters. 

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18:00

Prime Minister Yingluck arrives at the National Counter Corruption Commission this afternoon with her legal team. CHANAT KATANYU

Speculation was high that Prime Minister Yingluck would only submit written testimony to the National Anti-Corruption Commission, but after keeping the media guessing all morning, she appeared in person at the Commission at around 2.10pm and spent about 30 minutes testifying.

Election Commissioner Prasart Phonsiwapai applauded her willingness to appear and said the NACC would be fair, straightforward and transparent in dealing with her case. He said she asked that the NACC question 10 more witnesses and submitted a large number of documents clarifying her role in the rice-pledging scheme. Mr Prasart said the Commission would carefully consider her request.

Wearing a foot brace on her left foot, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra casts her vote in the senate election in Bung Kum district yesterday. Ms Yingluck sprained her ankle during a recent trip to Chiang Mai. She, or her lawyers, is today set to face the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to clarify a negligence of duty charge. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

12:30

As of noon, there had been no word from the caretaker prime minsiter as to whether she would appear before the NACC in person or make a written statement through her lawyers. In fact, reporters weren't even sure where she was. The expectation now was that a written statement was most likely.

At NACC headquarters, the situation was quiet with neither government supporters or opponents in the area.

Month of political chaos approaches

POST REPORTERS

The tension looks set to intensify from today when caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is expected to appear in person before the National Anti Corruption Commission (NACC) to clarify a negligence of duty charge over her role in the rice-pledging scheme.

A highly-placed source in the NACC believes the graft fighters will take about 10 days to examine the case and make a ruling. If the agency decides to indict her, the caretaker prime minister is required to suspend her duties — a scenario that will put the caretaker government's stability at stake.

Caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yubamrung has conceded that even though a deputy prime minister could assume the premiership, the government's stability will be seriously affected. Suriyasai Katasila, a core member of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), even suggests the entire administration may have to stop working because the rice pledging policy has been declared before the parliament. However, this issue is open to debate.

It remains unknown if Ms Yingluck, who criticised the NACC for its alleged double standards and unfair treatment, will testify before the NACC.

"I need to consult with my lawyers first and I will tell you [if I will appear in person]. We can either testify or give a written statement. But we have limited time," she told reporters yesterday.

Ms Yingluck stressed that she and her lawyers received 280 more pages of case documents three days before the deadline and criticised the NACC for denying her request seeking to extend giving her testimony.

In addition, she said other related documents she has requested from other agencies have yet been received.

On Wednesday the Constitutional Court is expected to decide if it will accept a petition by a group of senators asking it to rule on the prime minister's status. The petition was lodged after the Supreme Administrative Court ruled her order to remove Thawil Pliensri as National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general was unlawful.

Several political observers believe the Thawil ruling will bring the curtain down on the Yingluck administration. With the Supreme Administrative Court ruling in place, the Constitutional Court can hand down a ruling without holding further hearings.

Unlike the rice scheme ruling under the NACC process, the Thawill ruling under the Constitutional Court doesn't need to be forwarded to the Senate for proposed impeachment of Ms Yingluck.

If the Constitutional Court rules against Ms Yingluck, the prime minister will have to immediately leave office and take with her the entire cabinet. This will create a "political vacuum" that the anti-government PDRC hopes will set the stage for the establishment of a neutral government to implement national reforms.

Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala, ex-finance minister under the Yingluck administration, earlier commented that the case could shut down the government faster than that of the rice scheme.

PDRC secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban apparently believes things will play out like that when he announced on the stage on Saturday night that the protests will end in April and the Yingluck government will lose power.

However, this is not beyond the government's and the red shirts' expectations.

United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship chairman Jatuporn Prompan said the red-shirt mass rally on April 5 will prepare for a "special situation" and is expected to draw as many as 500,000 supporters. THANARAK KHOONTON

Red-shirt leaders across the country organised a meeting in Ayutthaya last Saturday to discuss a planned mass rally on April 5 and to apparently prepare for a possible "special situation."

United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship chairman Jatuporn Prompan said the mass rally on April 5 is expected to draw as many as 500,000 supporters and one million people will be mobilised if the situation drags on.

However, Mr Jatuporn assured the UDD movement' s fight to protect the government would be peaceful, without weapons.

You can read the full story here: approaches" >http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/402598/month-of-political-chaos-approaches

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Vocabulary:

administration: government - รัฐบาล

Administrative Court: the court which deals with disputes between the private sector and government agencies - ศาลปกครอง

alleged: claimed to be true although not yet proven; claimed to have done something wrong but not yet proven - ที่ถูกกล่าวหา

apparently: based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly - ตามที่ได้รู้มา

appear: to go somewhere officially because you are involved in something, such as a trial or inquiry - ปรากฏตัวอย่างเป็นทางการ

approach: to move closer to someone or something - เข้าใกล้

assume: to officially start a new job or position - รับหน้าที่

assure: to tell someone that something is true or will definitely happen - ให้ความมั่นใจ, ยืนยัน

at stake: able to be won or lost - เสี่ยง

bring the curtain down: to end - ปิดฉาก

cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี

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

cast a vote: to vote - ลงคะแนน

chaos: a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess - ความยุ่งเหยิง, ความสับสน

charge : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา

clarify: to make clear - ทำให้ชัดแจ้ง

concede: to admit that something is true - ยอมรับว่าถูก

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

consult: to ask for information or advice from someone - หารือ

core member: one of the most active or most important members of a group - แกนนำ

criticise: to say that you disapprove of somebody/something; to say what you do not like or think is wrong about somebody/something - วิจารณ์, ติเตียน,จับผิด

deadline: a time or day by which something must be done - เส้นตาย

debate: to discuss something, especially by giving different opinions - อภิปราย, ถกเถียง, โต้เถียง

deny: to not allow someone to have or do something - ไม่ยอมรับ, ปฏิเสธ

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

document: a piece of paper or a set of papers containing official information - เอกสาร

double standard: a rule or standard of good behaviour which, unfairly, some people are expected to follow or achieve but other people are not - สองมาตรฐาน

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

draw: to attract or interest somebody - ดึงดูดความสนใจ

duty: something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do - หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ

establishment: the process of starting or creating something - การสถาปนา, การก่อตั้ง, การจัดตั้ง

expectations: the belief that something will happen - สิ่งที่คาด คิดว่าจะเกิดขึ้นในอนาคต

extend: to add more time - ยืดออกไป

graft: corruption - การฉ้อโกง

guess: to try and give an answer or make a judgement about something without being sure of all the facts - เดา

immediately: happening right after something else with no delay; right away - ทันที

impeachment: the process of formally accusing a public official of a serious crime relating to their job - การกล่าวโทษเจ้าหน้าที่รัฐว่าทำผิดศีลธรรมหรือจรรยาบรรณ

implement: to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used - นำแผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ, นำมาใช้

in person: doing something yourself rather than by writing, telephoning, or sending someone else -

indict: to officially accuse someone of a serious crime - ฟ้องร้อง

intensify: to strengthen - เข้มข้นขึ้น

issue: a subject that people discuss or argue about - ประเด็น

lawyer: an attorney - ทนาย

limited: not much or enough; not very great in amount or extent - จำกัด

lodge a petition: to make a formal request of someone in authority - การร้องเรียน, การยื่นคำร้อง

mass rally: a very large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุมใหญ่

mobilise: to bring together for a particular purpose - ระดมพล

movement: a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it - การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง

National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC): An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials - ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)

National Security Council: a government body which deals with security matters that require cabinet action or present a serious threat to the country's sovereignty - สำนักงานสภาความมั่นคงแห่งชาติ

negligence: when you do not give enough care or attention to someone or something - ความประมาท, ความไม่เอาใจใส่

neutral: not supporting either side in a disagreement, competition or war - เป็นกลาง, ไม่ฝักใฝ่ฝ่ายใดฝ่ายหนึ่ง

observer: a person who watches and analyses a situation - ผู้สังเกตการณ์

PDRC: People's Democratic Reform Committee, an anti-government protest group, headed by Suthep Thuagsuban - กปปส. คณะกรรมการประชาชนเพื่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงประเทศไทยให้เป็นประชาธิปไตยที่สมบูรณ์ อันมีพระมหากษัตริย์ทรงเป็นประมุข.

petition: to ask someone in authority to do something - ยื่นคำร้อง

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

protect: to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc - ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน

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

reform: a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป

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

request: an act of asking for something in a formal or polite way - การขอร้อง

rice-pledging scheme: a government programme in which farmers sell rice to the government at a particular price, with the right to reclaim the rice if the market price goes higher - โครงการจำนำข้าว

role: the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท

rule: (of a court or other group with similar authority) to make and announce a decision - ตัดสิน, พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด

ruling : a decision by a court of law - คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด

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

scheme: a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ

secretary-general: the person who is in charge of the department that deals with the running of a large international or political organisation - เลขาธิการ, เลขาธิการใหญ่

Senate: one of the two groups of politicians who make laws in some countries, for example in the US, Australia, Canada and Thailand - วุฒิสภา

senator: a member of the Senate - วุฒิสมาชิก

set the stage: to make it possible for something to happen; to make something likely to happen - เตรียมพร้อมไว้, เตรียมการไว้

set to: ready to do something - พร้อม

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

source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว

speculation: ideas or discussion about why something has happened or what might happen - คาดการณ์ ประเมิณสถานการณ์

sprain: to suddenly stretch or turn a joint too much, causing a painful injury เคล็ด, เคล็ดขัดยอก - to suddenly stretch or turn a joint too much, causing a painful injury เคล็ด, เคล็ดขัดยอก

stability: the quality or state of being steady and not changing or being disturbed in any way; a situation in which things happen as they should and there are no harmful changes - เสถียรภาพ, ความมั่นคง

stage: a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, speakers etc. perform - เวที

status: legal position - สถานะ

straightforward: clear and honest - ตรงไปตรงมา

stress: to emphasise something; to say that something is important - เน้นย้ำ

submit: to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it - ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา

suspend: to stop for a period of time - ยกเลิกชั่วคราว, ระงับชั่วคราว

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

testify: to make a statement about something that you saw, know, or experienced, usually in a court of law - ให้การเป็นพยาน

testimony: a formal statement about something that you say, know or experienced, usually given to a court of law - คำให้การ

transparent: not keeping anything secret; open - โปร่งใส

treatment: a way of behaving towards or dealing with a person or thing - การปฏิบัติ

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

vacuum: emptiness; not having anything inside; not having air inside - สุญญากาศ, บริเวณที่ไม่มีอากาศ

weapon: an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody - อาวุธ

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