Cambodia Hunting Down Opposition Activists Who Advocated Spoiling Ballots

Despite winning 120 of the 125 seats in parliament, the ruling CPP is cracking down on even minor gestures of dissent.

In the wake of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s overwhelming victory at Sunday’s national election, Cambodian police are investigating several dozen opposition activists who destroyed their ballots to protest the exclusion of the Candlelight Party.

According to a report by Radio Free Asia, which cited Cambodian officials, police are targeting 44 people who allegedly incited people to submit spoiled ballots on the orders of what officials are now dubbing, with party-line consistency, “extremist groups abroad.”

This is code for the political movement loosely associated with the exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who prior to election day called on voters to submit invalid or spoiled votes to protest an election in which the CPP faced little to no real opposition. According to preliminary results, the CPP won 120 of the 125 seats in the National Assembly, with the remainder going to the royalist Funcinpec party.

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