Cambodian opposition politician faces defamation rap

Son Chhay allegedly ‘excessively exaggerated’ criticisms of June local elections.

The vice-president of the Candlelight Party has been charged with defamation by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court after criticizing the long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the National Election Committee (NEC) over the June commune elections.

Both the CPP and the NEC, charged with overseeing the elections, filed defamation suits against Son Chhay following the poll which human rights groups say were marred by the disqualification of candidates and the jailing of opposition activists.

“[He] excessively exaggerated and accused the CPP and NEC of controlling the election process, intimidating people before and during the election, stealing ballots, and election rigging,” a warrant obtained by Cambodian media and issued late last week, read.

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