Tue, Jul 31, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Cambodian poll was end of democracy: opposition

AP, PHNOM PENH

The party of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday congratulated itself on its election victory, while the opposition party, unable to contest the polls, said they marked the death of democracy in the nation, making its government and any dealings with it illegitimate.

Sok Eysan, the spokesman for ruling Cambodian People’s Party, described the vote as a “brilliant victory” and said the nation would move forward “under the umbrella of peace and political stability.”

Although 20 parties contested the election, the only one with the popularity and organization to mount a real challenge, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), was dissolved last year.

The CNRP, in a statement issued by some of its former leaders in Jakarta, Indonesia, said that following the “sham election ... what was left of a democracy in name only has been replaced with an outright dictatorship.”

The statement predicted that in reaction to the polls, foreign countries would apply punitive sanctions that would cripple the economy.

It warned “governments and businesses across the world that the agreements, deals and accords signed as of today by Cambodia’s de facto regime will have no legal validity and will be revised by the future democratic government of Cambodia.”

Preliminary results from the National Election Committee showed the Hun Sen’s party won at least 70 percent of the vote in each of the country’s 25 provinces.

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