The Thai parliament has elected Yingluck Shinawatra as prime minister. After leading the Pheu Thai party to a resounding election success, Yingluck was formally voted in today as Thailand’s new prime minister. She becomes the first woman in Thai history to become political leader of the country. The final royal endorsement of her premiership is scheduled to take place in the next few days.
It’s been a remarkable rise to power by the 44-year-old political novice. The younger sister of former leader Thaksin Shinawatra proved to be a big success on the campaign trail, particularly in the traditional pro-red shirt political strongholds in the north and north-east of Thailand. Yingluck will know that she faces many challenges ahead in Thailand’s complicated and tangled political landscape. Yingluck and Pheu Thai have spoken about the need for reconciliation, but the status of big brother Thaksin will be a big issue for Yingluck. Opponents say that Thaksin is pulling all the strings of the Pheu Thai party from his exiled home in Dubai and there could be more problems ahead if there are attempts to grant a pardon for Thaksin.