The Influence And Impacts Of Yingluck Shinawatra

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Yingluck Shinawatra was a relative unknown in the political sphere, entering politics with the Pheu Thai Party (PT) and immediately placed in the spotlight as the party’s front runner and contested in the 2011 elections with mere months of experience, an unlikely candidate in the male-dominated bastion of Thai politics. Yet she had not only won the elections but also by a considerable margin, enough to command a parliamentary majority without the need of a coalition, done only by Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai Party before. She also made history for being Thailand’s first female Prime Minister and also one of its youngest in recent memory. Even so her capabilities were questioned, and her candidacy drew several sceptics. Despite winning the elections with a popular mandate, it remains a fact that Yingluck was a political neophyte and while she boasts several top posts in various industries during her professional career before entering politics, these companies were all linked to her elder brother Thaksin. In this essay I will argue that Yingluck has not contributed significantly to Thai politics because of her brother’s influence and the ineffectiveness of her policies. I will first address how her familial background has affected her leadership before addressing key policies which her administration has implemented.
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
Yingluck’s and Pheu Thai’s affiliation to deposed Prime Minister Thaksin had been the centre of much conflict between PT and the opposition parties. It is no secret that Yingluck is the younger sister of Thaksin, whom was ousted from office by a military coup in 2006. Coming into the political scene, she carried the marker of her older brother. Unsurprisingly Yingluck had come under accusat...

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...l turmoil, but it is without doubt that Thaksin’s continued influence and presence had planted the seeds which would unravel the fragile peace. Thaksin remains a polarising factor in Thai politics and his connections with PT and Yingluck had cast doubt if Yingluck is truly in control or if she is influenced, or simply a puppet as some critics would suggest, by Thaksin. Yingluck’s policies also does not appear to be well conceived given the cracks that have appeared in them, creating doubts that it was meant to serve the interests of the poor or merely to placate them insofar to sustain their support for Yingluck. Taking all factors into consideration, Yingluck can be said to not have contributed to Thai politics significantly, primarily due to Thaksin’s influence and her ill conceived policies, prescribing Thailand a medication that has already proven ineffective.

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