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Yingluck Shinawatra was born on June 21st in 1967. Her nickname is Pu. Yingluck is the youngest child of Lert and Yindee who have eight other children. Yingluck grew up in Chiang Mai and at the lower secondary level attended the Regina Coeli College, a private girl’s school, she went on to attend the Yupparaj College, a co-ed facility at the upper secondary level. She graduated with a BA degree from the Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration Chaing Mai University with a BA Degree and in 1988 she received a MPA degree from Kentucky State University in 1991.
Her career began in sales and marketing when she was an intern at Shinawatra Directories Co. Ltd, a telephone directory business founded by AT&T International. Later on she became director of operations. In 1994 she became the general manager of Rainbow Media, a subsidiary of International Broadcasting Corporation, that today is TrueVisions, and went on to become Deputy CEO and in 2002 left to become the CEO of Advanced Info Service, AIS, Thailand’s largest mobile phone operator.
Yinluck resigned from AIS when the Shin Corporation, the parent company of AIS, was sold to Temasek Holdings. However she remained the managing director of SC Asset Co Ltd, the Shinawatra family property development company.
After she sold shares of her AIS stock for profit prior to the sale of the Shin Corporation she was investigated by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission regarding possible insider trading, but no charges were filed.
Yingluck received 0.68% of Shin Corp shares out of the 46.87% that Thaksin and his then wife held in 1999. The military junta-appointed Assets Examination Committee charged that Yingluck made up false transactions and that “there were no real payments for each Ample Rich Co.,Ltd shares sold” and “the transactions were made at a cost basis of par value in order to avoid income taxes, and all the dividends paid out by Shin to those people were transferred to [her sister-in-law] Potjaman’s bank accounts”. However, the AEC did not pursue a case against her. Yingluck in returned claimed her family has been a victim of political persecution.
Yingluck is a member of the Pheu Thai Party that was formed after the governing People’s Power Party was dissolved and its executive board was banned from political activity by the Constitutional Court on December 2nd 2008. Yingluck was asked to become leader of the party but as she wanted to focus on business and did not want to become prime minister she declined. Her brother Thaksin was not eager to raise her profile within the party either, although later she was far more enthusiastic as serving as the next prime minister.
Yingluck’s bank account was one of eight six accounts that the Abhisit government accused as being used to fund the Red Shirt protests in 2010. Abhisit himself accused the Red Shirts of trying to overthrow the monarchy, however no legal case was ever held against her. The DIS (Department for Special Investigations) found that from April 28th 2009 to May 2010 one hundred and fifty million baht was deposited into her account and one hundred and sixty six million was withdrawn, with one hundred and forty four million taken out of the account on the 28th of April alone.
The leader of the party, Yongyuth Wichaidit let his intention to resign be known in late 2010. The front runners to take over as prime minister were Yingluck and Mingkwan Sangsuwan, who had led the opposition in an unsuccessful motion of no confidence against the Democratic Party-led coalition government. On the 16th of May 2011 the Pheu Thai party voted to name Yingluck as the party’s top candidate under the party-list system for parliamentary election that was scheduled for the 3rd of July. But she was not made party leader and she did not join the executive board of the party, the ultimate decision was made by Thaksin who said “some said she is my nominee, but that is not true, but it can be said that Yingluck is my clone, another important thing is that Ms. Yingluck is my sister and she can make decisions for me, she can say yes or no on my behalf.”
The general election for the 24th House of Representatives took place on Sunday 3rd of July 2011 by virtue of the Royal Decree Dissolving the House or Representatives which caused the House of Representatives to be dissolved on 10th May 2011.
With a turnout of 75.03% the Pheu Thai Party won a majority with 265 seats and Yingluck Shinawatra became the first ever female prime minister in the history of Thailand and the youngest in sixty years.
Following the general election the first separate session of the House of Representatives was held in the morning of 5 August to select a new Prime Minister.296 of the 500 members of parliament voted to approve the premiership of Yingluck Shinawatra, three disapproved, and 197 abstained. Four Democrat lawmakers were absent.[ Somsak Kiatsuranont , President of the National Assembly, advised and consented King Bhumibol Adulyadej to appoint Yingluck Prime Minister on 8 August.The Proclamation on her appointment has taken retroactive effect from 5 August.
Yingluck’s main campaign theme was reconciliation following the political crisis that ran from 2008 to 2010 and culminated in the military crackdown that let almost one hundred protestors dead and thousands injured. She promised to empower the Independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Thailand, the panel that the Democrat Party-led government had set up to investigate the killings. She also proposed a general amnesty for all major politically motivated incidents that had taken place since the 2006 coup.
Yingluck has a vision for the elimination of poverty by 2020 and hopes to raise the minimum wage to three hundred baht a day and fifteen thousand a month for graduates. She also plans to improve operating cash flow for farmers and provide loans of up to 70% of expected income. She also plans to provide free public WiFI and Tablet PC’s to every school child.
Since she became prime minister she Yingluck has travelled to many different countries to strengthen relations with them, these include India, Japan, South Korea, China, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Maldives, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Germany, France, UK, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Turkey, Switzerland, Italy, Vatican City, Montenegro, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia.
On the 13th of August the Nation reported that government critics cried foul over Yingluck’s plan to purchase four aircraft worth Bt10 billion under the prime minister’s office budget for transporting important people, people that include herself and other cabinet members. Her supporters argued that buying a plane exclusively for official use was not splurging, given that more than 30 trips overseas occur each year. Each trip cost more than BT10 Million as the government has to charter a Thai Airways plane and on some days Yingluck travels to three provinces in the country.
Yingluck has one son, Supasek with her common law husband Anusorn Amornchat.