Cambodia goes to the polls – government blocks critical news websites

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The sixth general election kicked off in Cambodia on Sunday, July 29, with a total of 20 political parties taking part in the race, a National Election Committee (NEC) spokesman said.

“Polling began at 7:00am local time at 22,967 polling stations and is due to close at 3:00pm.” NEC member and spokesman Dim Sovannarom said according to Xinhua news agency.

Some 8.38 million eligible voters are expected to cast their ballots in the election, which is held to elect the members of parliament for the 125-seat parliament.

Sovannarom said it is forecast that “more than 60 per cent” of the eligible voters will likely turn out to vote. In the last election in 2013, voter turnout was recorded at 69.6 percent.

Among the active parties in the race are the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the Funcinpec Party of Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the League for Democracy Party of former opposition lawmaker Khem Veasna, the Grassroots Democracy Party of agronomist Yang Saing Koma, and the Khmer Will Party of former opposition member Kong Monika.

The preliminary results are expected to be announced on the evening of July 29.

Meanwhile, the Cambodian government confirmed it has ordered internet service providers to block at least 15 news websites of independent outlets, including Voice of America, for two days before and during the country’s election.

An official Ministry of Information memo ordered the ISPs to block Voice of America‚Äôs Khmer service, Radio Free Asia‚Äôs Khmer service, Voice of Democracy, Vayo FM Radio, Monorom.info, and the news site of the Independent Network for Social Justice on July 28 and 29 ‚Äď the day of the election.

Phos Sovann, chief of the Information Ministry’s general department of information and broadcasting, confirmed the list of at least 15 websites had been ordered blocked.

‚ÄúCambodian laws do not allow any kind of broadcasting on these two days including the Election Day,‚ÄĚ he said.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The sixth general election kicked off in Cambodia on Sunday, July 29, with a total of 20 political parties taking part in the race, a National Election Committee (NEC) spokesman said.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The sixth general election kicked off in Cambodia on Sunday, July 29, with a total of 20 political parties taking part in the race, a National Election Committee (NEC) spokesman said.

“Polling began at 7:00am local time at 22,967 polling stations and is due to close at 3:00pm.” NEC member and spokesman Dim Sovannarom said according to Xinhua news agency.

Some 8.38 million eligible voters are expected to cast their ballots in the election, which is held to elect the members of parliament for the 125-seat parliament.

Sovannarom said it is forecast that “more than 60 per cent” of the eligible voters will likely turn out to vote. In the last election in 2013, voter turnout was recorded at 69.6 percent.

Among the active parties in the race are the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the Funcinpec Party of Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the League for Democracy Party of former opposition lawmaker Khem Veasna, the Grassroots Democracy Party of agronomist Yang Saing Koma, and the Khmer Will Party of former opposition member Kong Monika.

The preliminary results are expected to be announced on the evening of July 29.

Meanwhile, the Cambodian government confirmed it has ordered internet service providers to block at least 15 news websites of independent outlets, including Voice of America, for two days before and during the country’s election.

An official Ministry of Information memo ordered the ISPs to block Voice of America‚Äôs Khmer service, Radio Free Asia‚Äôs Khmer service, Voice of Democracy, Vayo FM Radio, Monorom.info, and the news site of the Independent Network for Social Justice on July 28 and 29 ‚Äď the day of the election.

Phos Sovann, chief of the Information Ministry’s general department of information and broadcasting, confirmed the list of at least 15 websites had been ordered blocked.

‚ÄúCambodian laws do not allow any kind of broadcasting on these two days including the Election Day,‚ÄĚ he said.

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