Flicker of hope for Cambodia’s rubbed out opposition

Rekindled Candlelight Party to contest upcoming commune polls but if it burns too bright could be extinguished before next year’s general elections.

“We can only ask and appeal to those who love democracy and our nation to unite with the Candlelight Party,” declared Thach Setha, president of the surging opposition group as Cambodia gears up for local elections on June 5. 

Just months ago few observers thought the party, which had been moribund since 2012, stood a chance of competing against the country’s dominant Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which controls all but one commune chief post and every other political office nationwide. 

Formerly known as the Sam Rainsy Party, eponymously named after Cambodia’s main opposition leader dating back to the 1990s, the Candlelight Party only restarted its political activities last October. But some now reckon it has a shot of weakening the CPP’s monopoly of locally-elected posts, which could act as a springboard for general elections in July 2023.

In full: https://asiatimes.com/2022/05/flicker-of-hope-for-cambodias-rubbed-out-opposition/

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