Yingluck Shinawtra could be the country’s fist female prime minister, though this only skims the dynamics that have recently roiled Thailand.
The woman poised to become Thailand’s first female prime minister acknowledged huge challenges in reconciling her divided country, after an election landslide seen as a rebuke of the military-backed establishment that ousted her brother in a 2006 coup.
Preliminary results from Sunday’s poll showed 44-year-old Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai party winning the majority it needs to form the next government. If confirmed, the large mandate will likely boost Thailand’s stability in the short term and reduce the chance of intervention by the coup-prone military five years after it ousted Yingluck’s fugitive brother-in-exile, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
The photogenic Yingluck is widely considered the proxy of her brother, who has called her “my clone.” [..]
His overthrow touched off a schism between the country’s haves and long-silent have-nots that continues to this day. The struggle pits the marginalized rural poor who hailed Thaksin’s populism against an elite establishment bent on defending the status quo that sees Thaksin as a corrupt autocrat.
Last year’s violent demonstrations in Bangkok by “Red Shirt” protesters “” most of them Thaksin backers “” and the subsequent crackdown marked the boiling over of those divisions. […]
Thaksin Shinawatra is in exile in Dubai. More background and the drama surrounding the elections from Reuters.