Cambodia’s opposition disqualified from election, appeal fails

Cambodia’s Constitutional Council rejects appeal from opposition Candlelight Party to be allowed contest election.

Cambodia’s embattled opposition Candlelight Party has lost its appeal against disqualification from forthcoming national elections, which effectively means the country’s long-ruling leader, Prime Minister Hun Sen, will stand unchallenged at the polls in July.

Cambodia’s Constitutional Council, which heard the party’s appeal on Thursday, ruled that the National Election Committee’s (NEC) decision to prevent the opposition from standing in the July election was valid. The decision to exclude the party from the election was final, Reuters news agency reported.

Candlelight Party, a diminished but still popular replacement to the main opposition party that was dissolved by the judiciary in 2017, was last week disqualified from the upcoming election over a registration technicality.

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