Aug. 5 - The Thai parliament elects Yingluck Shinawatra as the nation's first female prime minister. Paul Chapman reports.
Yingluck Shinawatra arrives at parliament to enter political history as Thailand's first female prime minister. The sister of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra will lead a six party coalition controlling three-fifths of the government. She has to wait for the endorsement of Thailand's king before officially taking up the post. SOUNDBITE: Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra saying (English): "We will try to get the cabinet as soon as possible because we know that this time people are looking forward to having a new government to solve the all the problems." Yingluck sailed through the parliamentary vote to take charge of a nation plagued by instability since her brother was ousted by the army in 2006. He's now living in Dubai to evade a two-year jail sentence for corruption. His influence is one of Yingluck's biggest political hurdles. She's found it difficult to convince the public of her independence from Thaksin who's reviled by Thailand's 'old money' elite but revered as a hero by millions of poor. Any honeymoon period isn't likely to last long. She's pledged a range of populist policies which critics fear will push up government debt and inflation and put companies out of business. Her plans include raising the minimum wage by up to 90 per cent. Paul Chapman, Reuters