The elections in 76 Thai provinces are the first since Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha overthrew an elected government in a military coup.
Thailand has seen near-daily demonstrations for the past month by student-led groups denouncing Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha, a former military chief who led the 2014 coup, and won a disputed election last year.
Thailand's junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha is the first civilian prime minister of the country since 2014.
Although the military-crafted constitution puts pro-democratic forces at a disadvantage, the pro-military parties still have a long way ahead to form the new government.
Thailand's vote is viewed as a contest between junta leader Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha – who wants to stay on as the elected leader – and a "democratic front" of anti-junta parties.
The Thai Raksa Chart Party is now fighting for its survival after nominating Princess Ubolratana Mahidol as a prime ministerial candidate for the March 24 general elections. Thailand's king had called her move "highly inappropriate."
Thai Princess Ubolratana Mahidol accepted her nomination by the Thai Raksa Chart Party in an Instagram post. Hours later, Thailand's King called her candidacy "inappropriate and unconstitutional" and vetoed the move.
Thailand will hold a much-delayed general election on February 24, 2019, nearly five years after a military junta took power in a coup and imposed a ban on political activity.
An arrest warrant was issued for former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Friday after she failed to turn up to court for her verdict in a negligence case.
Thailand's Somchai Wongsawat, a brother-in-law of deposed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, along with then-deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyuth, was accused of abuse of power over a deadly crackdown on demonstrators in 2008.
Police also arrested nine men in connection with an arms seizure, saying they had clear evidence the suspects and their extended network were aiming to cause unrest in Thailand.
Thailand's ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra says she will 'use every channel available to fight' against the order.
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