The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) recently made known that the martial law is likely to remain in effect after General Prayuth Chan-ocha becomes prime minister.
NCPO spokesman Sirichan Ngathong insisted that without the law, which has been enforced nationwide since May 19, the military would be left without the legal tools to do a proper job in keeping order. The body added that underground activities would likely increase or intensify if the martial law is lifted.
The NCPO hoped that the law would help the country remain peaceful and having it imposed was unlikely to obstruct the new government in running the country. Military members have commented that the law has not affected the people’s everyday life.
General Prayuth earlier said during his daily program that efforts were still being made by old powers and influential groups to bring the nation back to its old dysfunctional state. Without martial law in place, Thailand will likely have much to suffer in the future.
The NCPO has promised that Thais would have a chance in voting for their own representatives and see their democratic rights returned by October 2015 through the process of a general election. The designation of a cabinet, which is expected to be finished next week, is part of the Army’s road map to democracy.
Gen. Prayuth maintained that martial law, which bans public gatherings on political demonstrations, was done to prevent armed attacks. It was also necessary to reduce clashes between people who upheld different political ideologies.
The Martial Law Act of 1914 grants the military full power to summon officials and individuals for investigation, search and seize individuals or items, order compulsory military service, prohibit assemblies, media coverage, advertising, public transport, and build army barracks at any given location.