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Thai judiciary on trial as it weighs scrapping pro-democracy party

Critics complain courts are biased in favor of ultraconservatives

BANGKOK -- Thailand's politically influential Constitutional Court will soon display its power once again as it considers the fate of the Future Forward Party, a new political grouping that has given a voice to millions of young voters at odds with the pro-military government.

The nine-member bench is scheduled to take up two FFP cases on Jan. 21, which could see the party dissolved barely a year after its impressive debut. In the general election last March that ended nearly five years of military rule, the FFP won 81 seats, becoming the third-largest party in parliament.

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