Home > World News > Thai opposition to choose Thaksin’s sister for PM

Thai opposition to choose Thaksin’s sister for PM

Thaksin’s Youngest Sister Yingluck Shinawatra
BANGKOK— A sister of
fugitive former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra has emerged as a
possible opposition candidate for prime minister as elections loom, a
party spokesman said Friday.

“Some Puea Thai members are
throwing their support behind Yingluck (Shinawatra) (pictured) as one
of the party candidates for prime minister but we have to consult and
vote at the party’s general meeting,” said Pormpong Nopparit.

He said the party would pick their candidate after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the leader of the pro-establishment Democrat Party, dissolves parliament, which by law must be done sometime this year.

Thaksin,
61, lives abroad to avoid a jail term for corruption. He remains a
deeply divisive figure in Thailand and is wanted on terrorism charges
for allegedly inciting anti-government protests in Bangkok last year.

The
telecoms tycoon-turned-premier drew wide support from Thailand’s rural
poor during his time in office but was deposed by a military coup in
2006 and faces allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

He still has many supporters, particularly within the “Red Shirt
opposition movement behind mass street protests in Bangkok in April and
May that left more than 90 people dead in clashes between armed troops
and demonstrators.

Yingluck, 43, is the youngest of Thaksin’s siblings. If elected to office, she would be Thailand’s first female prime minister.

She is currently executive president of Thai real estate firm SC Asset Corp.

She 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 tax scandal over the sale of the family’s shares in the group in 2006.

“She’s
very humble and has good human relations, but it’s not the time to say
that Yingluck would definitely be our choice,” said Noppadon Pattama, a
Thai-based legal adviser to Thaksin.

Earlier, local news
reports said Thaksin, who is currently based in Dubai, had endorsed
former commerce minister Mingkwan Saengsuwan to lead the party.

Puea
Thai head Yongyuth Wichaidit, a former bureaucrat, is seen by observers
as a caretaker leader lacking popular appeal, with Thaksin wielding the
real power from his self-imposed exile.

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