Thai parties hold last rallies before Sunday vote
STORY: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former army chief who ushered in years of military rule with a 2014 coup, is hoping to lead conservative forces to victory over an opposition led by the populist Pheu Thai party, backed by the billionaire Shinawatra family.
But opinion polls show the Pheu Thai is likely to win the most seats, continuing its string of strong performances in every vote since 2001, including twice in landslides. Its candidates for prime minister include Paethongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest daughter of family patriarch Thaksin Shinawatra, and real estate mogul Srettha Thavisin - both of whom have limited political experience.
Move Forward Party, another key opposition group, has seen a late-stage surge and is banking on young people - including 3.3 million eligible first-time voters aged 18 to 22. The party has promised big changes, ranging from tackling business monopolies and ending military conscription to amending a strict law on royal insults that critics say is used to stifle dissent.