Cambodia elections: Opposition could gain seats

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Sam Rainsy
Cambodia’s opposition leader Sam Rainsy

The ongoing election in Cambodia on July 28 will highly likely result in a clear majority for Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), but analysts believe that the opposition could dent his success by gaining more seats in the parliament than expected.

Currently, the 5.7-million-member CPP holds 90 of 123 seats in the parliament, and the main opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of popular party leader and former finance minister Sam Rainsy, holds 29.

Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander and Asia’s longest-serving prime minister since 1985, faces increasing criticism about his authoritarian rule especially from urban and younger Cambodians who say they want to fight for “true democracy” and against vote-buying and other irregularities.

“The partisanship of the military and police has created an intimidating atmosphere for voters in many parts of the country,” US-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

More than 9.6 million people are eligible to vote in a country that registered one of the fastest growth rates in Southeast Asia in 2012, helped by a vibrant garment export industry and strong economic ties with China. But the development has also lead to social tensions over poor factory conditions and rural land rights in the impoverished country of 14 million.

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[caption id="attachment_13097" align="alignleft" width="189"] Cambodia's opposition leader Sam Rainsy[/caption] The ongoing election in Cambodia on July 28 will highly likely result in a clear majority for Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party (CPP), but analysts believe that the opposition could dent his success by gaining more seats in the parliament than expected. Currently, the 5.7-million-member CPP holds 90 of 123 seats in the parliament, and the main opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of popular party leader and former finance minister Sam Rainsy, holds 29. Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander and Asia's longest-serving prime minister since...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Sam Rainsy
Cambodia’s opposition leader Sam Rainsy

The ongoing election in Cambodia on July 28 will highly likely result in a clear majority for Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), but analysts believe that the opposition could dent his success by gaining more seats in the parliament than expected.

Currently, the 5.7-million-member CPP holds 90 of 123 seats in the parliament, and the main opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of popular party leader and former finance minister Sam Rainsy, holds 29.

Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander and Asia’s longest-serving prime minister since 1985, faces increasing criticism about his authoritarian rule especially from urban and younger Cambodians who say they want to fight for “true democracy” and against vote-buying and other irregularities.

“The partisanship of the military and police has created an intimidating atmosphere for voters in many parts of the country,” US-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

More than 9.6 million people are eligible to vote in a country that registered one of the fastest growth rates in Southeast Asia in 2012, helped by a vibrant garment export industry and strong economic ties with China. But the development has also lead to social tensions over poor factory conditions and rural land rights in the impoverished country of 14 million.

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