Advancement Of Women In Politics?

I regret losing Abhisit Vajjajiva as Thailand’s Prime Minister, but consoled by the fact that he will still be around as an important political figure and as leader of the opposition party in the Parliament. I consider him to be one of the best prime ministers Thailand has ever had. He has a suitable educational background and an ability to speak well publicly in both Thai and English. I am always proud to see him representing Thailand at various national and international meetings. Not only that, he had led, for two years, a government that was supportive of women in politics, economics and social development. He had made sure that programs were created for the goal of Gender Equality as written in the Thai Constitution. We will no longer have that kind of a government again, due to the big change that happened after the election on July 3. Yingluck is Thaksin’s sister. He selected her to be his “clone” in this election because he cannot be in the country himself. Thaksin had already dropped his Thai citizenship to avoid a jail term. He is now a citizen of Montenegro with a residence in Dubai. To my amazement, the Election Commission did allow a foreigner, a fugitive from the Thai judicial system, to fund and set up a political party from abroad to run in this national election.
Using clever marketing gimmicks of “direct sales” which Shin/AIS Company is well-known for success in selling their mobile phones, Yingluck led the Pheu Thai Party in election with a slogan “Thaksin Thinks – Pheu Thai Acts”. She won 265 seats, (more than half of the total 500 parliamentary seats) for her brother’s Party. When combined with six smaller Parties, Yingluck will lead a coalition government of 300 seats in the Parliament. Thailand is again in danger of having a “parliamentary dictatorship”, just like five years ago when brother Thaksin was the Prime Minister before the 2006 coup.
I am ambivalent about the outcome of this election. I support women in politics in general and want to see a qualified woman as prime minister, but I am not happy with the way Yingluck came to power. She had accepted the role as  “puppet” for her fugitive brother who believed himself to be above the law. A business woman with only experience in managing a family-owned mobile phone company, is not enough background to lead a government of the country. She does not have a mind of her own. In many occasions, Yingluck has publicly admitted that she always listens to her brother and asks for his opinion on most things. She cannot speak intelligently on the subject of international politics and regional economics whether in Thai or English language. When giving answers to questions from foreign journalists about how she will solve the country’s problems, she skated and skipped around adding her innocent girlish smile plus occasional giggles. It is embarrassing for me to watch her performance in the media representing Thailand to the World. To me, no one should claim that what is happening in Thailand right now is an advancement of women in politics.

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