8 August 2011
Latest in-depth scoop by SIU team. The story behind “Shinawatra political family” back to the origin.
With Yingluck elected as the first female PM, last Friday is not only a historical day in Thai politics. It is also a historical day for the Shinawatra family, since the clan now has three Prime Ministers (the second one is Somchai Wongsawat, who is the brother-in-law of Thaksin).
Having three PMs makes Shinawatra a prominent political family. It becomes an important family like Pramoj (ปราโมช), Vejjajiva (เวชชาชีวะ) or the former “Ratcha Khru Group” (กลุ่มราชครู – Choonhavan/Adireksarn/Thapparansi).
If we count only the number of PMs in the family, the Shinawatra surpasses the Pramoj brothers and are now tied with Nehru-Gandhi of India (though the level influence is debatable).
On the surface, Shinawatra is Thaksin-centric. It is very true that he is the leading (and sole) force to bring the family to power. But digging back deeper, Thaksin is not the first member in the family who entered into politics. The Shinawatra family has been involved with politics long before Thaksin, and accumulated “political experience” that Thaksin could utilize.
To understand Shinawatra family better, we need to look back from the start. Thaksin, Somchai and Yingluck is just the fourth generation of this overseas Chinese family.