A general election that could help establish a new government would likely be held by the end of this year, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on February 6.

Meeting with the press before his visit to Japan from February 8, the PM affirmed the need to maintain the martial law nationwide.

He said the constitution draft is scheduled to be adopted in April, followed by the submission to the King for his approval in September.

In his speech, the PM underscored the crucial role of maintaining the martial law in dealing with the national peace, order and public safety as there are still secret anti-coup protests.

Meanwhile, Thai businessmen have consistently expected to remove the law as it has affected their operations.

Prayut Chan-o-cha has been named Prime Minister in August, 2014 after toppling former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and seizing power in a coup in May.-VNA