Cambodian elections: Free and fair or done deal?

Lori Trahan’s bipartisan bill seeks sanctions on Hun Sen regime for abuses.

LOWELL — National general elections in Cambodia take place on July 23, but nobody is holding their breath on the outcome of the contest.

That’s because former Khmer Rouge commander and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has held power for more than 38 years, has threatened, outlawed or arrested away his popular opposition, effectively creating a one-party, one-man rule called the Cambodian People’s Party.

U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, chair of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus, along with U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and other congressional leadership, led the reintroduction of the Cambodia Democracy and Human Rights Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would hold the Cambodian government accountable for abuses and corruption that undermine democracy and human rights in Cambodia. In addition to Massachusetts Democrats Trahan and Markey, the legislation is co-led by three Republicans: U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Marco Rubio of Florida.

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