FEATURE: Yingluck Shinawatra on the campaign trail

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You’re new to politics but you have campaigned very well, given the government a bit of a fright. Do you think you are going to win the election, get a majority of seats?

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA: So far that I have been visiting all the provinces, especially in all the regions. And we found that a lot of people accept our campaign. So hopefully they will accept us.

JIM MIDDLETON: Are you surprised that you have taken to political campaigning so easily given that you have very little experience in this area? Your experience before this has been in business.

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA: I think people will see as myself, being myself that came from the management style. So I think they might expect that, find someone about this time to helping them on the economics and also helping them on the manage of the all campaign execute or the problem as fast as they can.

And I think and another thing that the campaign of Puea Thai Party, I think that understand the root cause of the problem so that’s why they accept us and like our policy.

JIM MIDDLETON: Prime minister Abhisit says that a victory for your party would be divisive for Thailand. Is he right or…

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA: No…

JIM MIDDLETON: Why is he not right?

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA: I think it’s not true because our policy is firstly that we want to help people in terms of their economic incomes because this is a real problem. And I think we came from the business so we know how to help the country to improve the consumption and improve the GDP growth.

And along the way that our reason is we want to have a united Thailand. So we want to how we can make Thailand as one.

So this is our key objective and we will say that, I already say that on my statement, that we will move a step ahead on the country and then and then we’ll move Thailand, move forward and looking forward for the region.

JIM MIDDLETON: If you do win the election and become the government how quickly would you move to allow your brother, Mr Thaksin, to come back to Thailand and there to be an amnesty for him?

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA: No I think we didn’t set plans for that because the first thing we set plan for are helping people on the economics and also the peaceful back to the Thailand. So that will be the process of reconciliation.

So it doesn’t mean that I will do only thing for my brother. I will do for the whole country. Not special for my brother.

JIM MIDDLETON: Mr Thaksin cannot campaign in the election. He is not allowed to be in Thailand. If he had been allowed to campaign, would you have entered politics yourself or would you have stayed out of politics and in business?

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA: I think this is a different case. My brother, I think he said doesn’t have to worry about him, just do for the country.

And the way that I divorce myself and I offer myself to Thailand will be because I want to help the country.

JIM MIDDLETON: If you do win the election, campaigning is one thing but running a government is quite another. Do you think you will be able to make the great leap required to be an effective prime minister?

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA: Yes I think of course because we have the management who has more experience.

And I think in terms of the leadership you get enough information and you can help to make decision. And this depends on how you can manage, how to use people of management to put the right man to the right job.

So I think this is, I believe I can be able to do that.

JIM MIDDLETON: Campaigning is also one thing, negotiation is another. If you win the most seats but don’t win a majority, do you think you have the negotiating skills required to attract support from other parties that will enable you or would enable you to become the government?

YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA: The first thing that we have to back to the principle first. Who get the majority vote of the MP, they will have the right to form the government.

So if Puea Thai Party being the number one of the largest, so will we be able to ask the coalition to join the party? Of course with my negotiation skills I can do that.

And I think the experience, even though I don’t have the experience in the politics, but my brother, I was born from a politics family like my father, my brother, my sister. So I think I understand politics enough.

And I will use my strength as a female to be the compromising and talk to everyone. So I believe I can do that.