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Cambodia votes in poll without major opposition



  Hun Sen hugs supporters at an election campaign on July 7

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AFP

Caption

Hun Sen said he wanted to rule Cambodia for at least a decade

Cambodians will vote in an election that will not be the only serious challenger to the rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power since 1

985.

Critics have blamed the vote as "Cambodia National" The Rescue Party, which has narrowly lost the last election, has been disbanded.

The US and the EU have questioned the credibility of the election.

But the ruling Cambodian People's Party says 19 other parties stand. 19659007] On Friday, the Cambodian government ordered ISPs in the country to block a number of independent news sites, including Radio Free Asia, Voice of America and Voice of Democracy.

A post was also singled out in the German version of the Pinterest picture-sharing site, which specifically referred to the Cambodia National Rescue Party.

English newsagents were blocked, among others.

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As part of a major United Nations peacekeeping mission, Cambodia held its first multiparty elections in decades from 1993 to 1993 Bloodshed and war. It is estimated that about two million people died between 1975 and 1979 when the country was ruled by the radical Communists of the Khmer Rouge.

Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge soldier who later turned against her, has a persistent presidency of rapid economic growth

He has long been accused of using the courts and security forces to oppress and dissuade dissenters To intimidate critics, but for years he allows a degree of political opposition to his CPP party.

However, this election marks the "death" of democracy in Cambodia, said opposition leader Mu Sochua of the BBC.

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EPA

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The election was criticized by the UN as fundamentally flawed

Analysts say that a key test of Hun Sen's legitimacy will be the number of voters cast. During the campaign, opposition activists demanding an election boycott were accused of incitement

Voters dip their fingers into indelible ink at polling stations, making it easy for local authorities to see who votes and who does not. [19659007] A voter in southern Kampot province told BBC Thai that he would choose "just to have ink" on his finger.

"I'm afraid there might be problems and I'll be arrested," said the 39-year-old old man, who, for fear of retaliation, did not want to be named.

In 2013, the National Rescue Team of Cambodia (CNRP) led a mass protest movement after it rejected the election results, representing the greatest threat to Hun's rule in more than a decade.

It was last allowed to hold local elections Year

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AFP / Getty Images

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CNRP chief Kem Sokha was charged with treason and locked up in a remote prison

Since then, his leader has been imprisoned for alleged treason, and much of his leadership has fled abroad to seek support for international sanctions. Independent media have closed the country or left the country, and journalists have been arrested.

The party itself was disbanded by the Supreme Court in November, based on a government complaint that it was conspiring with the US to overthrow it. All elected politicians lost their positions, including 55 seats in the National Assembly with 123 seats.

On Friday, the final day of the election campaign, Hun Sen told thousands of supporters that his party had "turned off traitors who tried to overthrow the government" (19659007) "If we did not eliminate them with an iron fist, Cambodia would maybe now in a war situation, "he said.

The US and the EU, both of which helped Cambodia after the first UN-led elections in 1993, have cut short the electoral aid for this election.

But China, Cambodia, which has recently provided more than $ 130 million in military aid, is sending observers for the first time.


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