Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Thaksin's sister appointed PM

Thailand's parliament has elected the businesswoman Yingluck Shinawatra as the country's first female Prime Minister, setting the stage for the 44-year-old political novice to take charge of a volatile nation deeply divided since her older brother Thaksin was ousted in a coup in 2006.

Ms Yingluck's Pheu Thai party swept the elections on 3 July, winning an absolute majority of 265 seats in the 500-seat lower house.

Pheu Thai has since consolidated those gains, building alliances with smaller parties to form a 300-seat coalition.