Forbes ranks PM Yingluck 30th among World’s 100 Most Powerful Women 2012 list

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BANGKOK, Aug 23 — Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is ranked the 30th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine in its list of the 100 influencial women, which was topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Ms Yingluck, 45, is only Thai woman ever named to the ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ list. Released by Forbes on Wednesday, Thailand’s first female prime minister ranked 59th last year, her first entry into the list.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was recognised as the world’s most powerful woman, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ranking number two. Top celebrities on the list include Oprah Winfrey (11th), Lady Gaga (14th), and Beyoncé Knowles (32th).

Forbes said that one year into her term, Ms Yingluck’s ruling party has had a tumultuous summer. In July the Constitutional Court dismissed a complaint that her party’s attempt to amend the constitution amounted to plotting to overthrow the monarchy.

Had the court sided with the complainants, it could have dissolved her Pheu Thai party just a year after the landslide election that brought it to power.

Many feared such a ruling would have provoked mass street protests and possible violence similar to those that followed her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s 2006 ousting, when street protesters killed over 100 and took over airports and city centers, Forbes said.

The magazine said the PM was educated in both Thailand and the United States, where she received a master’s degree in public administration from Kentucky State University in 1991.

She has one child with her common-law husband, Anusorn Amornchat. She’s embraced social media–she currently has roughly 80,000 followers on Twitter.