His Majesty the King has endorsed a request by Prime Minister and junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha to revoke martial law throughout the country.
An announcement was issued under royal command and counter-signed by Gen Prayut. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) made the announment on television late on Wednesday night.
It said the royal approval abolished the Martial Law Act dated May 20, 2014. It also revoked the NCPO’s May 22, 2014 declaration of the use of martial law.
The cancellation took immediate effect.
The lifting of martial law paves the way for Gen Prayut to impose Section 44 of the interim constitution. Critics, especially in the international community, have voiced concern that this will give him absolute power.
Section 44 enables the NCPO chief to exercise the powers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Gen Prayut insists that military courts will remain but will try only cases relating to national security.
Earlier, he said he would exercise his power under Section 44 constructively. It would be used to deal with urgent problems such as the recent ban on new flights by Thai-registered airlines to Japan, South Korea and China.