Bangkok, Oct 27 (EFE).- The youngest daughter of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was elected Friday as the new leader of Pheu Thai, the senior party in the southeast Asian nation’s current coalition government.
Paetongtarn Shinawatra, 37, was the only one to run for the post during a Pheu Thai general assembly in Bangkok to elect a new board of directors.
The election of the young politician, who was one of Pheu Thai’s three prime ministerial candidates in the May elections, further consolidates the power of the Shinawatra family, despite the fact that the party came second in the polls.
Despite being beaten by the progressive Move Forward party, with which it formed a coalition that failed to achieve power due to its reformist agenda, Pheu Thai ended up forming an unexpected alliance with parties close to the Army, one of its historical enemies, in order to appoint the tycoon Srettha Thavisin as the current president.
Paetongtarn, who in the recent elections made his debut in the political arena, is part of Srettha’s circle of advisors in various areas, such as innovation and the attempt to expand Thailand’s cultural influence abroad.
While the politician climbs rungs in the Shinawatra-linked formation, Thaksin, 74, remains in hospital in the capital for various health problems under police custody since his return from self-exile on Aug. 22 to serve a series of prison sentences for corruption offenses.
A few days after his return, the former prime minister, who ruled from 2001 until he was ousted in a military coup in 2006, saw his sentence reduced from eight years to one year in prison thanks to an amnesty granted by King Vajiralongkorn, who justified the decision by the advanced age of the former president, his health problems, his services as prime minister and loyalty to the Crown. EFE