[JURIST] Thailand Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont [official website; BBC profile] said Sunday that a decision to lift martial law in Thailand [JURIST news archive] must be made prudently and in close consultation with security officials, given continuing efforts in some quarters to undermine the new government that took power after a military coup on September 19 [JURIST report]. Chulanont promised [JURIST report] on October 10 that the interim government would lift martial law "as soon as we can and when the situation is suitable."
Martial law has been in place since the September 19 coup, which has been defended by military leaders [JURIST report] as being unintrusive on the daily lives of Thai citizens. King Adulyade has already approved a new 39-article interim constitution [JURIST report; text], which provides for a civilian government but preserves the military's say in policy, including the power to dismiss the civilian administration. Human rights groups and the US government [JURIST reports] have urged the interim government to revoke martial law, calling the emergency provisions and the military-sponsored interim government a threat to democracy. TNA has more.