Will the Fujimori maneuver work for the Shinawatras?

The latest polls from Peru’s presidential race show Keiko Fujimori with a slight but widening lead over left-wing rival Ollanta Humala. If elected, Fujimori has promised to wait for a constitutional court rulling before pardoning her father, former President Alberto Fujimori, who is currently in jail serving a 25-year sentence on corruption and human rights ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images
PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images
PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images

The latest polls from Peru's presidential race show Keiko Fujimori with a slight but widening lead over left-wing rival Ollanta Humala. If elected, Fujimori has promised to wait for a constitutional court rulling before pardoning her father, former President Alberto Fujimori, who is currently in jail serving a 25-year sentence on corruption and human rights charges, but it's hard not to imagine that her election would improve his chance of an early release.

Obviously the political and legal circumstances are completely different, but it's hard not to think of the Fujimoris when reading about the Shinawatra family's latest gambit to get back into politics in Thailand:

The sister of Thailand's ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been named as the main opposition party's candidate to contest the 3 July poll. Yingluck Shinawatra would become the country's first female leader if the Pheu Thai party wins the election.

The latest polls from Peru’s presidential race show Keiko Fujimori with a slight but widening lead over left-wing rival Ollanta Humala. If elected, Fujimori has promised to wait for a constitutional court rulling before pardoning her father, former President Alberto Fujimori, who is currently in jail serving a 25-year sentence on corruption and human rights charges, but it’s hard not to imagine that her election would improve his chance of an early release.

Obviously the political and legal circumstances are completely different, but it’s hard not to think of the Fujimoris when reading about the Shinawatra family’s latest gambit to get back into politics in Thailand:

The sister of Thailand’s ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been named as the main opposition party’s candidate to contest the 3 July poll. Yingluck Shinawatra would become the country’s first female leader if the Pheu Thai party wins the election.

The 43-year-old businesswoman has almost no experience of politics.

Thaksin Shinawatra was forced from power in a 2006 military coup and lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid a prison term.

Despite this, he still effectively controls the Pheu Thai party.

Clearly, if you’re an out-of-power but still popular leader with legal troubles, a younger relative with less political baggage can be quite an asset. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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