Thailand elects Shinawatra as first female PM (PHOTOS)

Yingluck Shinawatra greets parliamentarians on Aug. 5, 2011.

BANGKOK, Thailand — Yingluck Shinawatra was elected as the first female prime minister of Thailand in the parliament session on Aug. 5, 2011. 

Shinawatra, a 44-year old former businesswoman, is also the sister of Thailand's ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006. In May 2011, Shinawatra's political party, Pheu Thai, named her as a candidate for prime minister, and they made a remarkable comeback, winning by a landslide in July.

On Aug. 5, Shinawatra was elected prime minister in parliament, with 296 of parliamentarians voting for her. Shinawatra faces the immediate challenge of bringing stability to the kingdom after five years of political turmoil and internal political divisions, according to the BBC

Despite her limited political experience Shinawatra is optimistic about the future and urged the global community to "help Thailand reinstall democracy, and trust and respect the people's decision," reports the Huffington Post

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