August 5, 2011 / 4:30 AM / 6 years ago

Thaksin's sister, Yingluck, elected Thai prime minister

BANGKOK, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Thailand’s parliament elected Yingluck Shinawatra as the country’s first female prime minister on Friday after the political novice won the support of more than half of the lawmakers in a televised vote, according to Reuters calculations.

The 44-year-old businesswoman, who was unopposed, won the 251 votes required to follow in the footsteps of her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a billionaire overthrown in a 2006 coup and now living in self-imposed exile.

The voting continued in the 500-member parliament.

Yingluck, whose political career began only 11 weeks ago, must wait for endorsement by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which could come as early as Friday evening, before she officially takes up her post.

The former president of property firm SC Asset Corp steered the opposition Puea Thai Party to a landslide election victory on July 3, winning 265 of the seats in parliament.

Puea Thai has formed a coalition with five other parties. Togther they have 300 of the 500 seats.

Reporting by Jutarat Skulpichetrat and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Alan Raybould

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