Thai election may bring political and economic stability

The Takeaway

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The youngest sister of Thailand’s ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra is poised to become the country’s sixth leader in under five years. Introducing herself to the BBC as “just a simple lady, and a lady that will be willing and sincere to help the country,” Yingluck Shinawatra is Thailand’s president-elect following Sunday’s elections, which gave a resounding win to the Puea Thai political party.

Thaksin Shinawatran was elected prime minister in 2001 and introduced a series of laws meant to help the rural poor in Thailand. In 2006, he was deposed by the military. Now, Shinawatran’s youngest sister has emerged as the head of his Puea Thai party and on Sunday was elected Thailand’s prime minister with an enormous turnout from poor voters in rural areas.

Yingluck Shinawatra will soon be Thailand’s first female prime minister. Her party won 264 of the country’s 500 parliamentary seats.

Many hope the election of Shinawatra will bring political stability to the country. According to the BBC, the Thai military has promised an end to coups.

Economic stability is also high on the agenda, but says the BBC’s Rachel Harvey, who is covering the election from Bangkok, there is concern that Thailand won’t be able to afford some of Shinawatra’s pre-election promises that include a big increase in minimum wage and large scale infrastructure projects.

“That is what Yingluck Shinawatra has told me she really wants to focus on right off the bat,” said Harvey. “When she comes into office, it’s going to be the economy, which is absolutely front and center for her.”

More coverage from the BBC:
> Yingluck Shinawatra faces many challenges
> Profile:Yingluck Shinawatra


“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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