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Just who is Yingluck Shinawatra?


Summary of story from BBC, August 5, 2011

Yingluck Shinawatra, the first woman to attain the highest political office in Thailand (see WVoN story), is a successful businesswoman and the product of a “well-oiled political machine”.

Until now Shinawatra, 44, pursued a corporate career and is currently president of SC Asset, a family business.

She has two degrees in politics – an undergraduate from the northern city of Chiang Mai, her family’s powerbase, and a masters from Kentucky State University in the US.

In her bid to become the first female prime minister, Shinawatra said she planned to use her attributes as a woman to promote national reconciliation and asked for the chance to prove herself.

Commentators point out that she is being advised by a formidable array of veteran politicians, including some of the traditional powerhouses of Thai politics.

The youngest of nine children, her elder brother is a former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup.

She was the number one party list candidate for the main opposition Pheu Thai political party, which her brother still effectively controls despite living in self-imposed exile in Dubai to evade a two-year jail sentence for corruption.

Shinawatra mobilised party supporters faithful to her brother through democratic elections as opposed to the prolonged – sometimes bloody – street protests that Thailand has witnessed in recent years.

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