Cambodia’s Hun Sen kicks off campaign for virtually unopposed election

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday started off his ruling party’s campaign for an election later this month – a poll that has been ridiculed as a sham after the prominent opposition party was hindered from ruling. The 70-year-old strongman, who has been in authority of South-east Asian country of 16 million for four decades, spoke before a crowd in the capital of Phnom Penh. He stood beside his son Hun Manet, who is also a candidate in the polls and widely crowned as his ruler.

Mr Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has committed peace, socio-economic growth and the polishing of democracy, adding that rights and freedoms were being taken care of. But he also alerted that any willingness and efforts to stir up “social disorder” or rebellion would be put down. Other than the CPP, only small parties with little funding or fame will be given the opportunity to stand in the July 23 election. The main opposition party came down in 2017 over an alleged coup try, with scores of its members imprisoned. A party formed from its remnants was bolted in May over a paperwork difference.