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Thailand court to issue crucial verdict
Thailand's court to issue crucial verdict on amending constitution that could provoke crisis
By The Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) Thailand's Constitutional Court is expected to issue a ruling Friday in a pivotal case that some fear could trigger a new round of political chaos and violent street protests if judges take the extreme step of dissolving the ruling party.

The case involves an attempt by lawmakers to establish a drafting committee to amend the constitution, which they see as undemocratic because it was created in the wake of a 2006 army coup. Ruling party leaders deny opponents' claims that the effort is intended to dismantle the Southeast Asian nation's constitutional monarchy.

The complex legal case is the latest convulsion of a sometimes violent tug-of-war between allies and adversaries of the exiled billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra, the populist former prime minister who was overthrown six years ago.

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