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Yingluck Shinawatra

Yingluck Shinawatra yēng´lŭk´ shĭ´näwät [key] 1967–, Thai business executive and political leader, first female prime minister of Thailand (2011–14), grad. Chiang Mai Univ. (B.A., 1988), Kentucky State Univ. (M.P.A., 1991). The youngest sister of Thaksin Sinawatra and a member of one of Thailand's wealthiest families, she worked as an executive in several family companies. By 2009, however, she was regarded as a possible political successor to the exiled Thaksin, and in May, 2011, with Thaksin's support she became the lead candidate of the Phuea Thai party (For Thais party PTP), a regrouping of pro-Thaksin politicians. Although a political novice, she proved an adept campaigner, and when the PTP won a majority in 2011, Yingluck became prime minister of a multiparty coalition government. In 2013 she became minister of defense as well. She was forced to resign as prime minister in 2014 after the constitutional court ruled her government was guilty of abuse of power in its 2011 transfer of the national security chief, and the military subsequently took power in a coup. Despite having been removed from office, she was impeached (2015) and banned from office for five years on charges relating to corruption in a subsidy program for rice farmers and then charged with criminal negligence with respect to the program.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.