Cambodian Ruling Party Faces Little Challenge in Sunday’s Election

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Cambodians vote Sunday for all 125 seats in the country's National Assembly, with Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party largely expected to stay in power. The party has won the four previous elections, held at five-year intervals.

The major opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party disputed the results of the 2013 election, accusing the ruling party of fraud and refusing to enter parliament to claim its 55 seats.

The boycott set off widespread protests against the government that resulted in some violent crackdowns on demonstrators by security forces, and the evacuation of the square in Phnom Penh where the protests were centered.

The movement finally ended in July 2014, when the opposition party met with government officials and agreed to enter parliament.

Since then, the opposition party has been dismantled. Opposition leader Sam Rainsy was stripped of parliamentary immunity in 2015 on defamation charges. He is barred from returning to Cambodia or running in elections. In February 2017, Rainsy turned over leadership to his deputy, Kem Sokha.

Kem was arrested in September 2017 on suspicion of planning a U.S.-backed revolution in Cambodia. Two months later, the Cambodian Supreme Court dissolved the opposition party.

Source: Voice of America