BANGKOK -- In her darkest hour, former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has turned to the country's rice farmers, a vote bank she tapped for her maiden electoral triumph.
"I am most proud [because] ... I had the opportunity to push [a subsidy] program on behalf of rice farmers," Yingluck told a Bangkok court on Tuesday. The scheme was meant to "benefit the economy at the grassroots," she added as she read a 20-page statement. Toward the end, as her voice began to crack, she fought back tears, describing her personal bond with the "spine of the nation," as she called the farmers.