Cambodia’s long-serving leader said Tuesday his government will amend the country’s election law to bar anyone who fails to vote from running as a candidate in future elections, in his latest move to marginalize his political foes.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said the change is needed because candidates for public office need to show their civic responsibility. He said the amendment will be ready for approval by lawmakers before a July 23 general election. The bill’s passage is a certainty, since all members of the National Assembly are members of Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
Most prominent opposition members have been in self-imposed exile to avoid being jailed on various charges they say are trumped up and unfair, and the proposed amendment would keep them from running in future polls without any further action needed to bar them. Opposition figures still inside the country who failed to vote would face the same consequences.