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Cambodia: Ruling party claims victory in sham election marked by vicious crackdown on freedom of expression: The Cambodia People’s Party (CPP), led by incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen, declared victory in the 29 July polls, claiming 77.5 percent of the vote and all 125 parliamentary seats. The country’s major opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was dissolved in November 2017 and did not participate in the election. Its leader, Kem Sokha, was arrested in September 2017 and remains in prison. He faces charges of treason under Article 443 of the Penal Code.

Strong showings by the CNRP in a general election in 2013 and communal election in 2017 signalled a possible electoral challenge to Hun Sen’s decades-long rule in the 2018 elections. However, in the wake of the CNRP’s dissolution, scores of activists and lawmakers fled the country, resulting in an election being held without a credible political opposition. The small parties that contested the election lacked the name recognition and legitimacy to credibly challenge the CPP, and many voters demonstrated their frustration at the undemocratic nature of the polls by spoiling their ballots.

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Cambodia: Ruling party claims victory in sham election marked by vicious crackdown on freedom of expression: The Cambodia People’s Party (CPP), led by incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen, declared victory in the 29 July polls, claiming 77.5 percent of the vote and all 125 parliamentary seats. The country’s major opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was dissolved in November 2017 and did not participate in the election. Its leader, Kem Sokha, was arrested in September 2017 and remains in prison. He faces charges of treason under Article 443 of the Penal Code.Strong showings by the CNRP in a general election in 2013 and communal election in 2017 signalled a possible electoral challenge to Hun Sen’s