Cambodians vote in local election amid intimidation, threats

Cambodians headed to the polls Sunday in local elections that are their first chance to vote since the ruling party of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen swept a 2018 general election that was widely criticized as unfair.

Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party is certain to sail to easy victory again following what the U.N. Human Rights Office charged Thursday was a pattern of “threats, intimidation and obstruction targeting opposition candidates. ”

“Candidates have faced numerous restrictions and reprisals that have hindered their activities, with imprisonment of a number of candidates that appears designed to curb political campaigning,” the agency said. It added that at least six opposition candidates and activists were in detention four days before the polls, awaiting trial, while others summonsed on politically motivated charges had gone into hiding.

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