Yingluck Shinawatra is set to become Thailand’s first female prime minister when parliament votes today following the July 3 election.
Suranand Vejjajiva has a Bangkok Post op-ed describing the challenges she faces:
First, Ms Yingluck will have to prove to the general public that without any extended assistance from her brother Thaksin, she can sit at the head of the cabinet and control the game on her own.
Second, Ms Yingluck must muster all her forces to be able to deflect the attacks on the parliament floor from the Democrat Party which, throughout history, has established itself at being best while in the opposition.
Third, the elite establishment remains deeply distrustful of Thaksin and Pheu Thai, but for now is willing to appear accommodating due to the large margin of Pheu Thai’s electoral votes and strong popularity.
Ms Yingluck will have to work out a delicate balance in regaining a basis of trust for reconciliation while keeping the more hostile elements at bay.
Fourth and most important is that Ms Yingluck must be able to control the various political factions within her own party, satisfying the needs but keeping ambitions and egos in check. A rift or apparent breakup could end up destabilising the party. In the past, Newin Chidchob’s defection destroyed Pheu Thai’s predecessor the People Power Party, and history could repeat itself with other factions. The numbers game in Parliament could always change if Pheu Thai’s present 265 seats are pushed down below the simple majority of 250 seats.
Reuters also ran some analysis earlier this week:
Running a real estate business in the middle of a building boom is one thing. Running a country that’s embroiled in a bloody political crisis may be a little more challenging, as Thailand’s Yingluck Shinawatra is about to discover.
The honeymoon is over for the 44-year-old political novice, about to become Thailand’s first female prime minister. Millions of poor supporters expect great things from her, while the country at large wants an end to a political crisis dating back to a coup that toppled her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, in 2006.
It was thanks to Thaksin that Yingluck was catapulted from relative obscurity as president of SC Asset to stardom within days of her May 16 nomination to lead the campaign of the Puea Thai Party in the July 3 election.
But as she prepares to follow in Thaksin’s footsteps after a parliamentary vote on Friday, it is her brother’s perceived influence over the incoming government rather than her inexperience that could prove her downfall.
(All emphasis mine.)
Update: 12:40 p.m.:
The Bangkok Post says it’s official. Almost:
Pheu Thai Party list MP Yingluck Shinawatra was elected Thailand’s 28th prime minister by a majority vote in the House of Representatives on Friday morning.
A total of 296 MPs voted in support of Ms Yingluck, the country’s first female prime minister, while three MPs voted against her, with 197 abstentions by the opposition, including the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties.
Up next: endorsement from the king.
Thailand’s House of Representatives on Friday elected Yingluck Shinawatra to become the country’s first female prime minster, paving the way for a new government expected by next week.
Yingluck’s selection, by a 296 to 3 vote in the lower house, will become official as soon as it in endorsed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 83, who is head of state.