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Cambodian PM 'would lose a democratic election', opposition leader says

In late 2017, Sam Rainsy was found guilty of defaming Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and ordered to pay $1 million in damages. Then Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader Kem Sokha was arrested, the party dissolved and more than 100 CNRP lawmakers barred from politics. With the opposition effectively quashed, Hun Sen easily won re-election in a July 29 vote and his Cambodian People’s Party took all 125 parliamentary seats. Hun Sen “knew he was going to lose any real democratic election”, Rainsy told FRANCE 24. “It is why he dissolved the only credible opposition party and arrested the opposition leader.” Rainsy called for “increasing international pressure” to force Hun Sen to allow free elections. “Both the European Union and the United States have started to implement unprecedented sanctions,” he said. If that continues, “I think Hun Sen will seriously consider allowing the opposition party to resume its legitimate activities.”

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