Economics

Thailand Elects Female PM

Thailand made history Sunday by electing the nation’s first female prime minister in its first general election since 2007. Officials were still counting ballots when sitting prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva conceded loss to Yingluck Shinawatra.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people and thank you for every vote you have given to us,” Yingluck told the press at her campaign headquarters Sunday night.

Experts are hoping the change will settle unrest that has been brewing between the Democratic and Pheu Thai parties, which culminated in protests against Abhisit’s government last year, resulting in the death of over 90 people.

Early exit polls showed Yingluck’s strong lead over Democrat Abhisit, as well as the possibility of her party taking more than 300 of the 500 available seats in the House of Representatives.

Yingluck’s critics, however, see her as a puppet for her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted from the prime minster position in a 2006 military coup. This was sparked after he made a recent comment calling her his “clone.” She denies the accusations from the opposing party that her primary concern is keeping him out of jail. “I can't do anything special for my brother,” she has said.

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