Cambodia opposition bemoans “death of democracy” after ruling party claimes landslide win

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Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) said on July 30 it had won all 125 parliamentary seats up for grabs in a general election a day earlier that critics said was neither free nor fair.

“The CPP won 77.5 per cent of the votes and won all the parliamentary seats,” CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said according to Reuters.

“The other parties won no seats,” he added.

That said, Cambodia woke up to another chapter of rule by strongman Hun Sen this Monday, a day after an election that was heavily criticised by rights groups, the US, the European Union and other Western countries.

Washington said it would consider steps, including an expansion of visa restrictions placed on some Cambodian government members, in response to “flawed elections” in which there was no significant challenger to Hun Sen.

Critics say the election was a backward step for democracy in Cambodia following the dissolution last year of the main opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and the jailing of its leader, Kem Sokha, on treason charges.

Former CNRP president Sam Rainsy, who lives in exile, said the election was a “hollow” victory for Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander who has ruled Cambodia for nearly 33 years.

The US has imposed visa curbs on some Cambodian government members over a crackdown on critics and levied sanctions in June on a high-ranking official close to Hun Sen, while the European Union has threatened Cambodia with economic sanctions.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said those moves were an attempt to intimidate Cambodia.

Final results of the election are expected in mid-August.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) said on July 30 it had won all 125 parliamentary seats up for grabs in a general election a day earlier that critics said was neither free nor fair.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) said on July 30 it had won all 125 parliamentary seats up for grabs in a general election a day earlier that critics said was neither free nor fair.

“The CPP won 77.5 per cent of the votes and won all the parliamentary seats,” CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said according to Reuters.

“The other parties won no seats,” he added.

That said, Cambodia woke up to another chapter of rule by strongman Hun Sen this Monday, a day after an election that was heavily criticised by rights groups, the US, the European Union and other Western countries.

Washington said it would consider steps, including an expansion of visa restrictions placed on some Cambodian government members, in response to “flawed elections” in which there was no significant challenger to Hun Sen.

Critics say the election was a backward step for democracy in Cambodia following the dissolution last year of the main opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and the jailing of its leader, Kem Sokha, on treason charges.

Former CNRP president Sam Rainsy, who lives in exile, said the election was a “hollow” victory for Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander who has ruled Cambodia for nearly 33 years.

The US has imposed visa curbs on some Cambodian government members over a crackdown on critics and levied sanctions in June on a high-ranking official close to Hun Sen, while the European Union has threatened Cambodia with economic sanctions.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said those moves were an attempt to intimidate Cambodia.

Final results of the election are expected in mid-August.

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