Thais flock to the polls as election kicks off

STORY: About 52 million eligible voters are choosing among progressive opposition parties and others allied with royalist generals keen to preserve the status quo after nine years of government led or backed by the army.

"I want to see the country with everyone having a say in it," said 53-year-old voter Natthimon Lopansri. "The government and public sectors working together, where everyone comes together to find a common ground, that should be the best for all."

Opinion polls indicate the opposition Pheu Thai, backed by the billionaire Shinawatra family, and Move Forward parties will gain the most seats, but with no guarantee either will govern because of parliamentary rules written by the military after its 2014 coup and skewed in its favor.