Under international pressure after its bloodless September coup, Thailand's military government has agreed to lift martial law in Bangkok and 40 other provinces.
But martial law would remain in Thailand's 35 other provinces, mostly along the north and northwestern borders, "for security reasons", Boonrawd Somtas, the defence minister, said.
Support for Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister, is strong in the north.
The emergency, in effect since Thaksin was toppled, will not be lifted officially until King Bhumibol Adulyadej gives his formal endorsement, which could take several days.
The government, calling itself the Council for National Security (CNS), has often referred to "undercurrents" in the predominantly rural and impoverished north, as justification for its continuation of martial law.
However, it has not produced strong evidence of potential uprisings in favour of Thaksin.
The Thai public has become increasingly sceptical of the CNC's promises to restore democracy and weed out corruption.
Several military personnel have been appointed to top commercial posts and the CNC has instructed the information ministry to "filter" the internet.
On the second day of the coup the interim government promised to restore democracy within a year and make fighting corruption a top priority.