176 replies to this topic
Posted 2011-08-05 11:36:11
Yingluck confirmed as Thailand's first female PM
by Anusak Konglang
BANGKOK, August 5, 2011 (AFP) - Yingluck Shinawatra was confirmed as Thailand's first female prime minister on Friday, faced with the daunting challenge of bringing stability to the kingdom after five years of political turmoil.
Yingluck, sister of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, retained an air of calm confidence after she won a parliamentary vote to become premier with the support of 296 members of the lower house out of a potential 500.
The country's 28th prime minister, who was catapulted from relative obscurity to election victory by her older brother's support, can expect royal endorsement within days to formalise her position.
"I am excited to start work," she told reporters after the vote. "People will judge whether my work satisfies them and meets their expectations or not."
Yingluck's Puea Thai party and its partners command a three-fifths parliamentary majority after a resounding victory in the July 3 election over the pro-establishment Democrats.
The 44-year-old surprised observers with her assured campaign style and she has since consolidated her parliamentary dominance by forming a six-party coalition that accounts for 300 of the legislature's 500 seats.
Yingluck, described by her brother as his "clone", on Friday again rejected suggestions that Thaksin, who lives abroad to avoid a jail term for corruption, is controlling her party from afar.
Asked if she was in contact with her brother, she replied: "No, I am not talking to anyone."
Thailand has seen a period of instability since Thaksin, the only prime minister in the country's history to win a second term, was removed from power in a 2006 military coup backed by Thai elites.
A group of around a hundred of his "Red Shirt" supporters gathered outside the parliament building ahead of the vote on Friday morning, many wearing their signature coloured tops bearing pictures of Yingluck's face.
Yingluck is expected to face pressure from the mainly poor and working class Reds, many of whom support Thaksin for his populist policies during his 2001-2006 rule.
The movement, which has key representatives in Yingluck's party, will expect justice over its April and May rallies last year that ended with a military assault and more than 90 people dead.
Analysts believe a key test for the fresh-faced political newcomer will simply be whether she can hang on to power in a country where the removal of leaders is commonplace.
Thailand has seen 18 actual or attempted military coups since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932 and only one prime minister in that time has served a full four-year term -- Thaksin.
"We are still in the middle of a very big conflict in the country with very different ideas about what government should be, and what it should be doing," said Thai political analyst Chris Baker.
Baker said her parliamentary majority -- along with the weakened state of the nationalist and anti-Thaksin "Yellow Shirt" protest movement and a lack of public support for the army -- will give Yingluck "breathing room".
Vote-grabbing promises, such as a minimum wage hike and higher rice prices for farmers, were a nod to Thailand's less economically fortunate, but the Bank of Thailand warning they could stoke inflation.
Yingluck, who said she would work on finalising her cabinet over the weekend, said her first thought would be the poorer in society.
"Our first priority is to solve the high cost of living for people," she said.
-- © Copyright AFP 2011-08-05
Posted 2011-08-05 11:48:34
296 MPs vote in favor of Yingluck becoming PM; 197 MPs abstained from voting while 3 MPs voted against her nomination /TANN
Posted 2011-08-05 11:49:15
Yingluck Shinawatra Voted Thailand's 28th Prime Minister
Pheu Thai Party's number one party-list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra is voted as Thailand's 28th prime minister. She is also the Kingdom's first female leader.
296 Members of Parliament voted in favor of Yingluck while three voted against her. 197 MP's abstained, including major opposition parties such as the Democrat and Bhum Jai Thai parties.
-- Tan Network 2011-08-05
Posted 2011-08-05 11:53:07
Yingluck confirmed as Thai PM: speaker
BANGKOK, August 5, 2011 (AFP) - Yingluck Shinawatra was confirmed as Thailand's first ever female prime minister after winning a parliamentary vote on Friday, the house speaker said, following a resounding election win.
Political novice Yingluck, the sister of ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, gained support from 296 members of the lower house out of a potential 500 -- reflecting the majority enjoyed by her party and its allies.
-- © Copyright AFP 2011-08-05
Posted 2011-08-05 12:05:22
Congratulations Yingluck Shinawatra ! Congratulations Thailand !
Posted 2011-08-05 12:08:13
The Thais finally got the government they deserve.
Oh God, pls save this country...
Posted 2011-08-05 12:11:17
Good luck to Yingluck, and good luck to Thailand.
Let's hope that this "fresh face", in spite of her ties to her brother, is able to do something good and positive for Thailand as a whole, and not just a few select. I say we give her a chance and see what she can do. If she fails, well, there's always the next election to get rid of her. Providing the military doesn't intervene in the meantime.
Posted 2011-08-05 12:13:28
Frank Oz brought us characters such as Kermit and Miss Piggy who became household names worldwide. Frank was a master puppeteer.
I fear that his ability as a puppetteer will be eclipsed by Thaksin and his new puppet.
Looking forward to seeing the Thaippets at a parliament near you.
Edited by metisdead, 2011-08-05 19:00:05.
Posted 2011-08-05 12:13:58
Good for Thailand. A female instead of a cocky man that does not get anything done. Congratulations
Posted 2011-08-05 12:14:37
Thaksin's 'clone': Thailand's first woman PM
BANGKOK, August 5, 2011 (AFP) - Political novice Yingluck Shinawatra has made history as Thailand's first elected woman prime minister -- yet her family name has aroused more interest than her gender.
Virtually unknown to the public just a few months ago, Yingluck soared to election glory under the wing of her big brother, the controversial ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who has described her as his "clone".
The telegenic businesswoman is widely seen as a political proxy for her sibling, who still dominates Thai politics although he was ousted in a 2006 coup and now lives abroad to avoid a prison term for corruption.
Yingluck has lived her life in the shadow of her big brother and it is not yet clear whether she will make a mark in her own right as the first woman at the helm of Thailand's government.
Eighteen years younger than Thaksin -- whom she describes as a father figure -- Yingluck has him to thank for much of her popularity as well as for the enmity of the country's elite, who backed the coup to remove him.
But she defied sceptics wary of her novelty value with a slick campaign that led to an election landslide.
Her opposition Puea Thai Party won 265 seats out of 500 in the lower house, leaving outgoing premier Abhisit Vejjajiva's Democrat Party a distant second in the poll race.
The 44-year-old kept her cool during the feverish poll campaign, where she won over Thai audiences with her groomed appearance, relaxed demeanour and carefully choreographed stage routines.
She has also avoided flaunting her thumping poll victory -- perhaps unsurprisingly given the manner of her brother's exit from politics.
Thai political analyst Pavin Chachavalpongpun said so far she appears to be a "charismatic leader".
"We underestimated her before... During this tough first month (since the election) she has handled the situation really well, so I think we are looking perhaps at a very capable prime minister," said Pavin, of Singapore's Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
Yingluck has recognised that as leader she is likely to come under immediate pressure to resolve Thailand's bitter colour-coded political split between Thaksin's fans and his foes.
Divisions became increasingly entrenched in the years following his removal, culminating in deadly rallies by "Red Shirt" protesters loyal to the former leader last year.
"The first urgent issue is how to achieve reconciliation," Yingluck said soon after her election win.
Thaksin still has a large following among rural and working-class voters for his populist policies during his five-year tenure, but is reviled by many in elite circles who see him as corrupt and a threat to the revered monarchy.
He fled in 2008 before a court sentenced him in his absence to two years in prison for corruption. He now also faces terrorism charges over the 2010 Red Shirt rallies.
Yingluck appears to have won support as a fresh face largely untainted by scandal. Accusations by her political foes that she lied in court to protect her brother have had little impact on her popularity.
Born on June 21, 1967, into one of the most prominent ethnic Chinese families in northern Chiang Mai province, Yingluck is the youngest of nine siblings.
Until recently president of Thai real estate firm SC Asset Corp, she graduated in political science from Chiang Mai University and earned a masters degree in public administration at Kentucky State University in the United States.
She returned to Thailand to work for one of Thaksin's companies as a trainee in the early 1990s, going on to take various positions within her brother's business empire.
Yingluck is also a former president of the mobile telephone unit of Shin Corp., the telecoms giant founded by Thaksin that was at the centre of a scandal over the tax-free sale of the family's shares in the group in 2006.
Explaining the choice of the term "clone" to describe her relationship with her brother, she told AFP while campaigning that they were similar in their approach.
"We are alike in the sense that I have learned from him in business and I understand his vision, how he solves problems and the way he built everything from the beginning," she said.
Only time will tell how strongly Thailand's new leader is bound by her family ties.
-- © Copyright AFP 2011-08-05
Posted 2011-08-05 12:19:11
Congrats, PM Yingluck! I wish you good luck!
You must be one of the best looking PM in the world!
Posted 2011-08-05 12:29:58
I wish the lady and Thailand good luck.
Whatever Thaksin's sins, the majority of people seem to want him, or his representative. Thailand is still a democracy remember, where as a famous man once said, "You get the politicians you deserve". If it brings stability and the military stays out of politics some good may come of it.
We shall see.
Posted 2011-08-05 12:30:31
If SHE is going to accomplish anything at all, SHE will have to prove that SHE is not listening to HIM! I do not think that will happen.
Posted 2011-08-05 12:31:57
It's official - Yingluck the prime minister
By The Nation
The House on Friday cast a roll-call vote to install Yingluck Shinawatra as prime minister.
Of 496 MPs present, Yingluck received 296 votes. The opposition abstained with 197 votes. Three votes were cast against the nomination.
Of the 300 coalition votes, four abstained including Yingluck, the House speaker and his two deputies.
Three Democrat MPs cast their disapproval were Watchara Phetthong, Boonyod Sukthinthai and Attaporn Ponlabutr.
Yingluck is 44 years and one month old, breaking a world record as the youngest female ever elected the prime minister.
-- The Nation 2011-08-05
Posted 2011-08-05 12:36:15
While not my choice of party, or PM, I still congratulate Yingluck on achieveing the top position, a first for Thailand, and a further step towards gender equality.
Posted 2011-08-05 12:36:24
Anyone want to correct the Nation AGAIN?? Something like,... youngest prime minister , and the first female prime minister in Thai history? Unlike the Nation, I am open to correction if I am incorrect.
Edited by featography, 2011-08-05 12:37:19.
Posted 2011-08-05 12:40:04
Lets hope that Thailand's first female P.M does prove to be as destructive as Britain's first female PM.
Posted 2011-08-05 12:42:45
Lower house elects Yingluck new PM
BANGKOK, 5 August 2011 (NNT) – The first meeting of the House of Representatives on Friday has resolved to elect Pheu Thai party-listed MP Yingluck Shinawatra the 28th prime minister of Thailand with 296 supporting votes.
The lower house meeting commenced at 10.00 hrs with House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont chairing the meeting. Before starting the session, the speaker asked MPs for cooperation to ensure that the lower house meeting would go smoothly.
At 10.40 hrs, Pheu Thai party-listed MP Sanoh Thienthong proposed that Ms Yingluck be elected the new prime minister with 294 MPs supporting the nomination. Other parties did not propose any candidate to compete in the post.
Six MPs from both the government and the opposition then were invited to check the vote counting, after which the house entered the procedure of voice voting openly.
At 11.44 hrs, after the vote counting, Mr Somsak announced that 296 MPs voted in favour of Ms Yingluck, three against and 197 abstained. He then pronounced that the lower house resolved to elect Ms Yingluck the new prime minister before closing the lower house meeting session.
According to Section 172 of the constitution, the house speaker will let MPs propose the new prime minister whose nomination must be supported by at least 100 MPs. Lower house members then will vote openly and individually for the nomination.
-- NNT 2011-08-05
Posted 2011-08-05 12:43:55
I have no doubt Yingluck will get things done, but I'm not going to be surprised when the protests by her "own" people start. The 30 baht medical is a tax on the poor, the rice scheme is going to inflate the prices for everybody, a small percent are going to see a pay raise and those that got her into this position, the red shirts don't seem to be getting enough attention. Inflation affects us all, especially the poor. I wish her luck. Truth is where it's at, and every time I here her say her brother is not involved, I shudder.Good luck Thailand, keep a high standard and don't accept anything less.
Posted 2011-08-05 12:43:57
The world has already witnessed some great female leaders from Golda Meir to Margaret Thatcher.
Will Yingluck be remembered as a great leader? History will be the judge.
I truly hope for the best but fear for the worst.
Edited by metisdead, 2011-08-05 19:02:06.
Posted 2011-08-05 12:46:05
let's get to the flashpoint (thaksin or latest government trying to reverse court ruling and get his hands back on the frozen assets) soon...that's what all this is about anyway... let's see how that goes or is blocked or confronted by the 'other side'. Until and unless the country deals with that core issue the rest is just choreography ?
How credible is Chris Baker ? His track record as clean as 'daeng' rivers ? the 'red shirts' have been used by a very rich man claiming to empathize with the poor so he can get richer. Is that what this country really needs ? What kind of thailand do the coming generations of thais like to see ? A country with credible and stable institutions like the judiciary, press, accountable government of meritocracy, equal opportunities for all ? Or a country railroaded by business tycoon family parroting 'democracy' to protect self interest while muzzling press and slamming opposition and dissident voices with life wrecking lawsuits while in power ?
The solution might lie somewhere in the middle ?
Posted 2011-08-05 13:04:00
I see the news networks are already sucking up with words like
Crushing Victory and distant second
Anyway I sincerely hope my fears are proved wrong and she does a good job for Thailand and her people.
But why do I get a bad feeling that wont be the case?
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