Thailand's first female prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was removed from office yesterday after serving as premier for two years, nine months, and two days. The dismissal followed a Constitutional Court ruling that she had violated the charter by unlawfully transferring a security tzar shortly after she came to power.
Yingluck was the third prime minister of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra's camp to be disqualified from office by the Constitutional Court. First, it was the late Samak Sundaravej, followed by Somchai Wongsawat.
The younger sister of Thaksin became prime minister after she had been introduced to politics as Pheu Thai Party candidate only 46 days before elections.
Her brother Thaksin had been sentenced to two years in jail by the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions for abuse of power in 2008.
He has been living in self-exile abroad but is widely believed to have been pulling strings in support of his sister.
Political observers said Yingluck was the right choice for Thaksin as prime ministerial candidate for his Pheu Thai Party in the 2011 election. Together with Thaksin's populist policies, which received strong support from the North and Northeast, the friendly and photogenic Yingluck led the party to a clear victory in the July 3 election.
Yingluck graduated from Chiang Mai University with a degree in political science and went on to earn a master's in the same subject from Kentucky State University in the United States. However, she had never run for office or held a government post before the election. She previously pursued a corporate career, formerly as managing director of AIS, the telecommunications firm her brother founded, and as managing director of SC Asset Co, a family firm involved in property.
Yingluck is married to Anusorn Amornchat, managing director of M Link AsiaCorp, another Shinawatra family-owned firm. The couple has one son Supasek.
During the 2011 political campaign, Thaksin described Yingluck as his"clone". However, Yingluck, who is 18 years younger than her brother, always denied being influenced by him and vowed to work independently.
"I will be myself," she told reporters before the election.