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Backgrounder: Yingluck, Thaksin's sister vying for Thai premiership

07-01-2011 16:53 BJT

BANGKOK, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Thailand is bracing for its general election on July 3. Among the hopefuls for the premiership is Yingluck Shinawatra, the younger sister of ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was nominated as the top prime ministerial candidate by the opposition Pheu Thai in May.

Born in northern Chiangmai province of Thailand on June 27, 1967, Yingluck has almost no political experience but two degrees in politics -- undergraduate from the northern Chiangmai province, her family's power base and master's degree from U.S. Kentucky State University.

Yingluck has dismissed the query by saying "My father was a politician, and so were my brothers, so I've known about politics since I was a kid."

She is married to businessman Anusorn Amornchat and has one son. Until now, she has been pursuing a corporate career, formerly as a senior executive at Advanced Info Service (AIS), the telecommunications firm her brother founded, and managing director of SC Asset Company, a family firm involved in property. The Pheu Thai, which still maintains close ties with Thaksin, currently holds 188 seats in the 480-seat House of Representatives.

Although recent opinion polls have showed the ruling Democrat Party has been trailing behind its main rival, political observers worry that the Thaksin connection could work against Yingluck in the long term.

As one of campaign policies, she proposed, for the sake of reconciliation, a general amnesty which her party claimed would reach out to all political colors and disregarded everything that has taken place since the coup in 2006.

The proposal has certainly incurred criticism from main opponents, the Democrats, which said the proposed law was designed for whitewashing Thaksin. At its core, the amnesty law aims to clear Thaksin of any wrongdoing, overturn the prison sentence and pave the way for his return, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has said.

Thaksin was ousted by a military coup on Sept.19, 2006 on charges of corruption and undermining democratic institutions. In February 2010, the Supreme Court convicted him in absentia of profiteering from his time in office, and confiscated 46 billion baht (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) in family assets.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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