Focus on the BIG picture.

A summary of the latest 10 most important news from Thailand, May 15, 2023

Thai opposition crushes military parties in election; UTN thanks Southern voters for poll support; Polish man arrested for murder of Ukrainian girlfriend; Singapore eases egg-freezing rules as births hit record low; 'Dark horse' wins 2 seats in Ubon Ratchathani; Cambodia poll body disqualifies sole opposition party from July election; Baht gains as Move Forward leads vote, tycoon-linked stocks drop; Senators want pro-monarchy Prime Minister; Thai economy grows 2.7% in first quarter; World Bank cuts Thailand's growth forecast.

1. Thai opposition crushes military parties in election.

The opposition Pheu Thai Party and its allies won a landslide victory in Thailand's general election, ousting the ruling Palang Pracharath Party. Pheu Thai won 258 seats in the 500-seat House of Representatives, while Palang Pracharath won only 92 seats. The results are a major setback for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who came to power in a 2014 coup.

2. UTN thanks Southern voters for poll support.

The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), or "Red Shirts," won 12 seats in the election, all of them in the southern provinces. The UDD is a populist movement that has been critical of the military government. In a statement, UDD leader Jatuporn Promphan thanked voters in the south for their support.

3. Polish man arrested for murder of Ukrainian girlfriend.

A Polish man has been arrested in Thailand for the murder of his Ukrainian girlfriend. The man, who has not been named, allegedly strangled his girlfriend to death in their hotel room in Bangkok. The body was found by hotel staff on May 14.

4. Singapore eases egg-freezing rules as births hit record low.

Singapore has eased its rules on egg freezing, in a move to help women who want to delay having children. The new rules allow women to freeze their eggs up to the age of 45, and to store them for up to 10 years. The move comes as Singapore's birth rate has hit a record low.

5. 'Dark horse' wins 2 seats in Ubon Ratchathani.

An independent candidate has won two seats in the Thai election, in a surprise upset. The candidate, who has not been named, is a former soldier who ran on a platform of anti-corruption and reform. His victory is seen as a sign of growing public dissatisfaction with the political establishment.

6. Cambodia poll body disqualifies sole opposition party from July election.

The Cambodian National Election Committee has disqualified the sole opposition party from the July 2023 election. The Committee said that the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) had failed to meet the requirements for registration. The CNRP has accused the government of rigging the election.

7. Baht gains as Move Forward leads vote, tycoon-linked stocks drop.

The Thai baht has gained against the US dollar after the opposition Move Forward Party led the vote in the general election. The baht was trading at 33.60 to the dollar on May 15, up from 33.70 on May 14. Shares of tycoon-linked companies have fallen in the wake of the election results.

8. Senators want pro-monarchy Prime Minister.

A group of senators has called for a pro-monarchy prime minister to be appointed after the general election. The senators said that the next prime minister should be someone who will "uphold the monarchy and the constitution." The call comes amid concerns about the future of the monarchy after the election results.

9. Thai economy grows 2.7% in first quarter.

Thailand's economy grew 2.7% in the first quarter of 2023, up from 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth was driven by strong exports and tourism. The government is forecasting growth of 3.5% for the full year.

10. World Bank cuts Thailand's growth forecast.

The World Bank has cut its growth forecast for Thailand in 2023 to 3.2%, from 3.8% previously. The Bank said that the cut was due to the war in Ukraine and the rising cost of living. The Bank also warned that Thailand's economy could be hit by a slowdown in China.

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