Thai PM tells CNN she doesn't rely on Thaksin

THAILAND - Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, speaking with CNN in an interview, said she was in control of her government and has not been relying on her brother, fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The embattled premier is enduring heavy public criticism after a controversial amnesty bill she helped push for - through MPs belonging to the ruling Pheu Thai Party - was passed by the Lower House. It is now pending final approval by the Senate.

The bill is aimed at granting amnesty to Thaksin, while also nullifying all other wrongdoings during violent protests by the pro-Pheu Thai red-shirt movement. The political upheaval ended with a bloody crackdown by the military in 2010.

Yingluck told CNN's "News Stream" that she wanted to be judged by her achievements, saying: " [Our government has] a lot of key stakeholders, so you have to make sure that you keep all the stakeholders happy."

Asked how she responds to Thaksin still calling the shots, as is believed to be the case by many people, she said: "Just think, 'That's okay'. We have to work harder to show and to prove [ourselves]. But now [after] two years, I [feel] less criticised about this because if I'm relying on him, I don't think I [could have] survived … especially during the floods, or during the hard time."

Responding to CNN interviewer Kristie Lu Stout, Yingluck said she had proven herself, but it was up to people to decide whether they trusted her or not.

On opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva's "stupid woman" remark, Yingluck said: "I don't want to interpret what he means, but [the] only thing that I would like to tell [him is], please give chance for all ladies or Thai people, whoever give the negative [criticism]. We think that this is the opportunity for us to talk the positive way."

Responding to Stout's question on what Yingluck saw as her signature style, the PM said: "People don't expect you to play the politic[s]. People expect you to run the country with the sincerity and also doing hard effort as much as you can to deliver what we promised to the Thai people."

The New York Times published articles earlier this week carrying interviews with Abhisit and Sombat Boon-ngamanong, leader of Red Sunday, who have a common foe in the Pheu Thai Party and its de facto leader, Thaksin. Sombat denounced one key condition of the amnesty bill that would leave Abhisit, his supporters and the military off the hook for the 2010 crackdown.