Campaigning hard

Phue Thai's Yingluck campaigned in more difficult territory yesterday while PM Abhisit admitted his party was behind – but only "slightly".

The Pheu Thai Party’s No.1 list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra wears a hijab with Muslim women holding up their fingers to signify the party’s first place on the election ballot paper while campaigning in Yala yesterday. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD


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Yingluck goes South while Abhisit admits he’s behind

After campaigning in the friendly North earlier in the week, the Phue Thai party's No.1 party-list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra visited an area where seats in parliament will be much more difficult to win.

She and her campaign team travelled to court voter support in the deep South in the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

She promised the predominantly Muslim voters  in the area that if her party wins the election she would revive Thailand's diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia and her party planned to turn the three southern border provinces into a special administration zone.

Bilateral ties with Riyadh have been strained following the theft of gems belonging to the Saudi royal family by a Thai employee in 1989, the murders in 1989 and 1990 of four Saudi diplomats in Bangkok and the disappearance in 1990 of a Saudi businessman who lived in Thailand at the time.

Ms Yingluck also said trade relations with Saudi Arabia must be restored.

She told Pheu Thai supporters in the region that if the party could form a government after the July 3 election, then it would push for the establishment of a special administration zone, similar to Bangkok and Pattaya, in the deep South.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva acknowledged his party was slipping behind in the race against the opposition Pheu Thai Party led by Ms Yingluck, the 43-year-old sister of self-exiled former prime minister Thaksin.

"It is still a very tight race. We have fallen behind slightly," he said.

"Yingluck is new on the scene. You always get a bit of a bounce ... and the media always responds to a new face," Mr Abhisit said.

In a development that may help Mr Abhisit’s sagging fortunes, the Democrats announced yesterday that he had accepted an invitation from the People's Network for Elections in Thailand (Pnet) to participate in a debate on June 23.

It won’t be the one-on-one contest with Ms Yingluck that he had wished for, however, as six party leaders have been invited. It is not yet clear whether Ms Yingluck will take part.
 
Adapted from stories in today's Bangkok Post

candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
signify - to be a sign of something; to mean มีความหมาย
ballot paper – the piece of paper on which someone marks who they are voting for บัตรเลือกตั้ง
campaign – to take part in a planned series of activities (a campaign) designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party รณรงค์หาเสียง
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it  ยอมรับ
party-list – a system that gives each party in an election a number of seats in relation to the number of votes its candidates receive ระบบสัดส่วน, ระบบปาร์ตี้ลิสต์
court – to try to obtain or get something
predominantly – mostly or mainly มีอิทธิพลเหนือ, มีมากกว่า
revive – to come or bring something back to existence or use ฟื้นฟู, ทำให้เกิดขึ้นอีก
diplomatic – relating to relations between countries เกี่ยวกับการทูต
ties – relations; connections ความสัมพันธ์
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
bilateral – involving two groups or countries สองข้าง, เกี่ยวกับกลุ่มทางการเมืองสองกลุ่ม
strained – not relaxed or friendly เครียด
theft – (the act of) dishonestly taking something which belongs to someone else and keeping it การลักขโมย
gem – a jewel (= precious stone), especially when cut into a particular regular shape อัญมณี, เพชรพลอย
employee – someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation ลูกจ้าง
diplomat – an official whose job is to represent their government in a foreign country นักการทูต
disappearance – moving something or someone somewhere where they can no longer be seen or found การหายไป, การสาบสูญ, การสูญหาย
trade –  the buying and selling of goods and services การค้าขาย
restore – to bring back to good condition ฟื้นฟูสภาพ
region – a large area of land, usually without exact limits or borders  ภูมิภาค, บริเวณ
establishment – the process of starting or creating something การสถาปนา, การก่อตั้ง, การจัดตั้ง
acknowledge – to accept or admit that something exists, is true or is real ยอมรับ
slip – to fall to a lower level; to become worse ตกต่ำ,เสื่อม,เสื่อมโทรม
the opposition – the political party or parties that are not part of the government ฝ่ายค้าน
exile – a situation in which you live in a foreign country because you feel you cannot live in your own country, usually for political reasons การลี้ภัย การถูกขับออกนอกประเทศ
tight – very close with competitors that seem to be equally good ใกล้เคียงกัน
bounce – an increase (in popularity) การเพิ่มขึ้น
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
respond – to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done ตอบสนอง, ตอบรับ
sagging – falling to a lower level; becoming weaker or fewer ตกต่ำ,เสื่อม,เสื่อมโทรม
fortunes – luck โชค
invitation – a written or spoken request asking someone to meet you or to do something with you คำเชิญ
network – a large system of connected parts, organisations, people, etc. เครือข่าย
contest – a competition การแข่งขัน

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