Fears of poll violence

The shooting of a former MP has raised fears the upcoming election will be especially violent.

Police inspect the car of former Samut Prakan MP Pracha Prasopdee after he was attacked Tuesday night. Five bullets were fired, hitting Mr Pracha in the back and shoulder. TAWEECHAI TAWATTAKORN

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Ugly, violent poll fight tipped

Pracha says he knows who ordered contract hit

Post Reporters

Police are taking action in an attempt to forestall violence during the lead-up to the July 3 elections after the shooting of a former MP for Samut Prakan.

The attack on veteran politician Pracha Prasopdee on Tuesday night has heightened concerns that the polls will be marred with violence. The shooting came just a day after the House was dissolved.

The Central Investigation Bureau has ordered its units to step up security and surveillance for cash, contract gunmen, and firearms.

"All units have been told to look into movements of cash and weapons and report in regularly.

"Hired gunmen should be closely watched. We have information about contract gunmen from overseas being hired," said CIB chief Pongpat Chayaphan.

Pol Lt Gen Pongpat said the agency had drawn up a security plan for the election.

Police have been told to stay neutral and curb attempts by politicians to bribe voters and any activities which could obstruct clean and fair elections.

Crime Suppression Division commander Supisal Pakdinaruenart said he was worried that the election would be one of the most violent in recent years.

He said the shooting of Mr Pracha is a sign of growing violence which could also be expected in Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Sawan, Nonthaburi and Prachin Buri provinces, where poll attacks have occurred before.

"Election-related crimes are usually rampant in areas where races are very tight or where candidates have no substitutes," he said.

Pol Maj Gen Supisal said contract killings are hard to avoid due to a lack of evidence implicating the masterminds.

"We can establish a motive but it is hard to find the last jigsaw piece to show who was behind it.

"If any candidates do not feel safe during the election, they can seek protection from the CSD and we will consider requests on a case-by-case basis," he said.

In a telephone interview, Mr Pracha ruled out local politics or conflicts over candidates within the Pheu Thai Party as being the motive for the attempt on his life.

He believed the attack was related to the election, and knew who ordered it.

"I know who has ordered the contract on me. A son of a politician has passed on a message via a senior official that when I am no longer an MP, he will shoot me.

"Barely two days after the House dissolution, I was shot," he said.

Mr Pracha said he has spoken to police and hopes the government will attend to the matter.

"I am not dead yet because I have to win the election and help [ousted prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra return to the country," he said.

Mr Pracha said Thaksin called him and wished him a speedy recovery.

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inspect – to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
bullet – a small, metal object that is shot from a gun  กระสุนปืน
shoulder – one of the two parts of your body between your neck and the top of your arms ไหล่
violent – involving the use of physical force, with the intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people รุนแรง
poll – an election การเลือกตั้ง
tip – to say that something is likely to happen คาดการณ์
contract hit – paying someone to kill someone for you
forestall – to prevent something from happening or somebody from doing something by doing something first  ป้องกัน, กัน (ไม่ให้เกิดขึ้น)
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
lead-up – the period that comes before an important event
veteran – a person who has a lot of experience in a particular area or activity (สส.)หน้าเก่า, (สส.)หลายสมัย, ผู้อาวุโส
heighten – (of emotions) to cause to become stronger เพิ่ม, ทำให้แข็งแรงขึ้น,ทำให้สำคัญขึ้น
concern – a worry ความกังวล
mar – to spoil something ทำให้เสียหาย
dissolve the House – to end a parliament, normally to call a new election ยุบสภา
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
step up – to increase; to cause to get stronger ทำให้เข้มข้นขึ้น
security – protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
surveillance – the process of carefully watching a person or place that may be involved in a criminal activity การตรวจตรา
cash – money in the form of notes or coins เงินสด
firearms – guns อาวุธปืน
unit – a group of people who work, especially for a particular purpose หน่วย,กอง,กลุ่ม
regularly – done or happening often, especially with the same time and space in between each activity and the next เป็นประจำ, เสมอๆ
hire – to pay someone to work for you, especially for a short time จ้าง
overseas – connected with foreign countries, especially those separated from your country by the sea or ocean เกี่ยวกับต่างประเทศ, ข้ามทะเล
neutral – not supporting either side in a disagreement, competition or war  เป็นกลาง, ไม่ฝักใฝ่ฝ่ายใดฝ่ายหนึ่ง
curb – to control or limit something that is harmful ระงับ, ควบคุม
bribe – to give money or presents to someone so that they will help you by doing something dishonest or illegal ติดสินบน
obstruct – to make it difficult for something to happen or for someone or something to go somewhere ขวางทาง
suppression – stopping an activity from happening, in this case, criminal activity  การปราบปราม
commander – a police offer of high rank ผู้บังคับบัญชา
rampant – existing, happening or spreading in an uncontrolled way รุกลาม อาละวาด กำเริบ รุนแรงจนควบคุมไว้ไม่ได้
tight – (in a competition) very close ที่มีคู่แข่งที่มีความสามารถใกล้เคียงกัน
substitute – a person or thing that is used instead of another person or thing คนหรือสิ่งที่เข้าแทน  
lack of – when there is not enough of something  ขาด
evidence – facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime หลักฐาน
implicate – to show or suggest that someone is involved in something illegal or morally wrong   โยงใยถึง
mastermind – someone who plans a difficult or complicated operation, especially a crime คนวางแผน
motive – a reason for doing something  แรงจูงใจ
jigsaw – a complicated problem consisting of many different parts นการณ์ที่ลึกลับซับซ้อน
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
consider – to give careful thought to something before making a decision พิจารณา
case-by-case basis – considering cases one by one โดยพิจารณาเป็นกรณีไป
interview – a meeting (often a public one) at which a journalist asks somebody questions in order to find out their opinions, experiences, etc.
rule out – to stop considering something as a possibility ประกาศว่าเป็นสิ่งที่เป็นไปไม่ได้
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about  ท้องถิ่น
conflict – an angry disagreement between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง
via – through  ผ่าน
attend to – to deal with somebody/something; to take care of somebody/something ให้ความสนใจกับ, ช่วยดูแล
matter – a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
ousted – forced out of a position of power ขับออกจากอำนาจ
recovery – the process of becoming normal and healthy again ฟื้นฟูสภาพ

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager