Going on the attack

Democrat leaders seem to have decided that simply pushing their policies is not a winning strategy.

Prime Minister and Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva greets his supporters who braved the rain to join the party’s election campaign at the King Taksin Monument in Bangkok’s Wong Wian Yai area last night. PATIPAT JANTHONG

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PM attacks red violence

Nattaya Chetchotiros & Supoj Wancharoen

The Democrat Party looks set to raise the political temperature now that it has switched tactics to begin attacking the red shirts and Pheu Thai for instigating political violence.

In the early stages of the campaign, the ruling party was content to discuss policies and their merits.

Now that the election campaign is heading for its final two weeks, the party is redirecting its attack on its rival to find a winning formula.

As an example, Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva called on the electorate during a campaign visit to Kamphaeng Phet to say "no" to mob rule.

"Don't let anyone further harass the country. Make it known that we're done with mob rule, violence and intimidation," he said.

Mr Abhisit called on voters to cast their votes for a party that is dedicated to seeking solutions to the country's woes instead of one man's problems.

The Democrat leader said voters would get to choose on July 3 which path they want to take – a better future or a bitter past of political violence.

He said the amnesty plan for former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had created conflict and disorder.

He emphasised in his comments that core members of the red shirt movement which had instigated violence are running for House seats under the Pheu Thai banner.

Natthawut Saikua, Jatuporn Prompan and the wife of core red shirt member Arisman Pongruangrong, who is wanted by police over last year's chaos, are contesting the party list system.

"Should we hand the country to the very people who torched our nation's assets and public property?" he said.

Mr Abhisit made a strong point of reminding voters that he and other top Democrats, including the party's chief adviser Chuan Leekpai, were being harassed by a certain group while campaigning. The Democrat leader also noted that the results of opinion surveys do not reflect reality, partly due to this kind of pressure.

He said Democrat supporters are reluctant to take part in the opinion polls because they do not want to find themselves in trouble.

Campaigning last night in Bangkok's Wong Wian Yai area, Mr Abhisit again zeroed in on the candidacy of red shirt members and red shirt violence. He attacked Pheu Thai's reconciliation and amnesty plan for Thaksin.

"The head of their reconciliation team is Chalerm Yubamrung. His right hand man is Natthawut and his left hand man is Jatuporn.

"My question is, how is it called reconciliation?" he said.

The Democrat's change of tactics is seen as a bid to stem the Pheu Thai Party's fast-rising popularity.

The opposition party has emerged ahead in various popularity polls.

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brave – to deal with an unpleasant or difficult situation in order to achieve something กล้าที่จะเผชิญกับ
campaign – a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party การรณรงค์หาสียง
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
set to – ready to do something พร้อม
switch – to change เปลี่ยน
tactics – particular methods for achieving something วิธีการ  ไม้เด็ด
instigate – to cause an event or situation to happen by making a set of actions or a formal process begin ก่อให้เกิด, กระตุ้น
stage – a particular point in time during a process or set of events ระยะเวลา ช่วงเวลา
content – willing to do something; happy and satisfied with what you have or are doing พึงพอใจ
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
merits – the advantages something has compared to something else ข้อดี
rival – a person, group, team or business that competes with another คู่ต่อสู้, คู่ปรับ, คู่แข่ง
formula – a list of the things that something is made from, giving the amount of each substance to use สูตร
electorate – all the people in a country or area who are allowed to vote ผู้ที่มีสิทธิเลือกตั้งทั้งหมดในท้องที่หรือเขตหนึ่งๆ
mob – a large crowd of people, especially one that may become violent or cause trouble ฝูงชนที่กำลังสับสนอลหม่าน, ฝูงชนวุ่นวาย
harass – to keep attacking or annoying someone รบกวน, ทำให้ลำบากใจ
intimidation – deliberately making someone feel frightened, especially so that they will do what you want ขู่ขวัญ
cast – (of a vote) to vote by putting marking your voting paper (ballot) and putting it in the ballot box ลงคะแนน
dedicate – to spend your time and effort doing something อุทิศ
solution – a way of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation  วิธีแก้ปัญหา
woes - great problems or troubles ความเสียใจ, ความทุกข์ร้อน
bitter – involving very angry feelings ความขมขื่น
amnesty – a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime การนิรโทษกรรม
conflict – an angry disagreement between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง
disorder – a situation in which people behave in a noisy or violent way in public, often as a protest against something ความวุ่นวาย
emphasise – to stress something such as an idea, fact or detail; to explain why something is important เน้น
core member – one of the most active or most important members of a group แกนนำ
movement – a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง
under the banner – for an organisation that controls or supports a particular activity ภายใต้องค์กร
chaos – a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess การจราจล
contest – to compete for something โต้แย้ง ถกเถียง
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
torch – to deliberately set on fire วางเพลิง
asset – something owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property ทรัพย์สิน
public – provided, especially by the government, for the use of people in general  ที่เกี่ยวข้องกับส่วนรวม, ที่เป็นของสาธารณะ
property – land owned by someone ที่ดิน, อสังหาริมทรัพย์
remind – to make someone think of something they have forgotten or might have forgotten เตือนความจำ
survey– to ask a large number of people questions to find out their opinions สำรวจ
reflect – to show สะท้อน แสดงถึง
reality – actually happening ความเป็นจริง
due to – because of เนื่องจาก
pressure – a worried feeling that you get when you have to deal with a difficult or complicated situation ความกดดัน
reluctant - not very willing to do something and therefore slow to do it ไม่เต็มใจ
poll – an occasion when a lot of people are asked about what they feel about something – การสำรวจความคิดเห็น
zero in – focus or concentrate on something มุ่ง เล็งไปที่
candidacy –the fact of being a candidate (= a person competing for a position) in an election การเป็นผู้สมัคร,การเสนอตัว
reconciliation – a new and friendly relationship with someone who you argued with or fought with การทำให้ปรองดองกันอีก,  การสมานฉันท์
bid – an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
stem – to stop something from increasing or spreading หยุดยั้ง,ยับยั้ง,สกัด
popularity – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people ความเป็นที่นิยม, ความเป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

Related search: Democrat party, tactics, Abhisit, Thailand election 2011

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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