Saturday, November 4, 2023

Cambodia’s Opposition Party Barred from July Polls


Cambodia’s main opposition party, the Candlelight Party, has been disqualified from contesting July’s election by the country’s election commission. The move will likely allow the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to run virtually unopposed, as the Candlelight Party was the most serious challenger to the CPP and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s grip on power. The commission cited the party’s failure to submit proper registration documents as the reason for disqualification. The ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights criticised the move, stating that it showed the Hun Sen regime’s disdain for democracy and fair elections. The ban on the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) ahead of the 2018 election also allowed the CPP to win every seat in parliament. Dozens of former CNRP members have since been detained or convicted of crimes. The Candlelight Party plans to appeal to the constitutional court.

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