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Yingluck trial: Thai court verdict due for former PM

Yingluck trial: Thai court verdict due for former PM

Hundreds of Ms Yingluck's supporters turned up early on Friday outside Bangkok's Supreme Court
Thailand's high court is set to deliver its verdict on former PM Yingluck Shinatrawa on charges of negligence over a rice subsidy scheme.The programme cost the Thai government billions of dollars in losses.Ms Yingluck, who became Thailand's first female prime minister in 2011, has denied wrongdoing.She was impeached in 2015 by an army-backed legislature which also launched legal proceedings over her role in the controversial scheme.But she remains popular. Hundreds of her supporters have turned up outside the Supreme Court in Bangkok ahead of the verdict, amid a heavy police presence.
What Yingluck's fate might mean for Thailand
BBC profile: Yingluck Shinawatra
Ms Yingluck's rice subsidy scheme, which was part of her election campaign platform, launched in 2011 shortly after she took office.
The rice scheme was one of several controversies which overshadowed Ms Yingluck's time in office
It was aimed at boosting farmers' incomes and alleviating rural poverty, and saw the government paying farmers nearly twice the market rate for their crop.But it hit Thailand's rice exports hard, leading to a loss of at least $8bn (?6.25bn) and huge stockpiles of rice which the government could not sell.Though popular with her rural voter base, opponents said the scheme was too expensive and open to corruption.During her trial, Ms Yingluck had argued she was not responsible for the day-to-day running of the scheme. She has insisted she is a victim of political persecution.
Yingluck's rice scheme controversy
May 2011- Yingluck Shinawatra is elected PM, and shortly afterwards begins rolling out her rice subsidy scheme.January 2014 - Thailand's anti-corruption authorities investigate Ms Yingluck in connection to the scheme.May 2014 - Steps down from her post after Thailand's constitutional court finds her guilty of abuse of power in another case. Weeks later the military ousts what remains of her government.January 2015 - An army-backed legislature impeaches Ms Yingluck for corruption over her role in the rice scheme, which effectively bans her from politics. It also launches legal proceedings against her.August 2017 - Verdict on the court case against Ms Yingluck due.Ms Yingluck's time in office was overshadowed by controversies as well as strong political opposition.
Ms Yingluck and her brother Thaksin Shinawatra remain popular with their rural voter base
The youngest sister of tycoon and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Ms Yingluck was seen by her opponents as a proxy for her brother, who was controversially ousted by the military in 2006.Both siblings remain popular among the rural poor, but are hated by an urban and middle-class elite.Their Pheu Thai party has - under various different names - won every election since 2001.
bbc.com
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