On Wednesday, the Thai military government announced that the long-awaited general elections will be held on February 24, 2019 and that political parties can now start campaigning.
The announcement ends a ban on political campaigning brought in when the military ousted the elected government in a coup four years ago.
The military has always insisted it intends to restore democracy in Thailand; however, the election date has been pushed back repeatedly.
It was in 2014 when the military took power in Thailand, overthrowing the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the hugely popular Pheu Thai party.
According to the military leaders, at the time they took over, they were restoring order after months of political unrest which had turned violent.
They later drew up a new constitution and changes to the electoral system, which were approved by the public in a referendum in 2017.
The constitution effectively guarantees that even after the election, the military will remain an influential force in politics. It will be able to appoint the senate, which in turn will help choose the next prime minister.
Dozens of people have been detained and indicted since the military banned political activity and gatherings of more than five people in an attempt to prevent more of the frequent large scale protests seen over the years.
Thailand's military has a history of intervening in politics and has seized power 12 times since the end of the absolute monarchy - and the introduction of the first constitution - in 1932.