Thailand’s top opposition candidate Yingluck Shinawatra says she is confident Thais are ready for the country’s first female prime minister. The Puea Thai Party candidate, who has a slight lead in opinion polls ahead of the July 3 parliamentary election, told Anasuya Sanyal in an exclusive interview with Channel NewsAsia that she wants to lead Thailand towards reconciliation. Ms Yingluck, 43, said a woman prime minister can contribute to Thailand in unique ways.
Critics have said that her older brother, fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, will be ruling from behind the scenes if she is elected. But Ms Yingluck, a businesswoman, maintained that her background in a well-known political family and decades of experience in business would help her guide the country. She said that by abiding by the rule of law and invoking the same standards for everyone, Thailand would be able to move forward from its political turmoil.
Polls carried out before the dissolution of parliament on May 10 had indicated that the Democrats, led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, were having the upper hand. However, the party’s popularity started to take a dive a week later after Puea Thai listed Ms Yingluck as its candidate for the election. It will be Thailand’s first poll since the country saw its deadliest political unrest in decades last year.