Thailand has elected its first female prime minister. And though Yingluck Shinawatra is a businesswoman who was previously little known in Thai political circles, it turns out she has a familial political pedigree: her big brother Thaksin Shinawatra just happened to be Thailand's premier, until he was ousted in a 2006 coup.
Yingluck, 44, didn't just win: her opposition Peau Thai political party achieved something of a landslide, picking up 265 out of 500 seats in Thailand's lower house of parliament.
With her camera-ready good looks and poise, Yingluck won over Thai voters, and defied "skeptics wary of her novelty value with a slick election campaign," Agence France Press reports.
But though Yingluck has vowed to try to reconcile the segments of the Thai electorate still divided over her brother's legacy, it's not clear she can escape his shadow. It will likely be particularly hard for her to shake his controversial reputation for corruption among the Thai political elite, which drove him into exile.
Yingluck "is widely seen as a political proxy for her sibling, who still dominates Thai politics although he was ousted in a 2006 coup and now lives abroad to avoid a prison term for corruption," the AFP writes.
Loyalists to Yingluck's brother Thaksin erupted in "Red Shirt" protests that were suppressed violently last year.
Yingluck, who previously worked for two firms that are part of her brother's business empire, earned her masters degree in public administration at Kentucky State University.
She told the AFP that she and her brother were so similar he has described her as his "clone."
"We are alike in the sense that I have learned from him in business and I understand his vision, how he solves problems and the way he built everything from the beginning," she told the AFP.