Cambodia set for parliamentary elections on Sunday

Cambodia set for parliamentary elections on Sunday

Around 9.7M Cambodians registered to vote in Sunday ballot to elect 125 lawmakers from 18 political parties

By Necva Tastan

ISTANBUL (AA) — Cambodian voters will head to the polls on Sunday to cast their ballots in the Southeast Asian country's next parliamentary elections.

King Norodom Sihamoni made a public call on Friday for people "to exercise their right to vote according to their own conscience, who has confidence in any candidate, any political party freely."

He stressed the general elections would be "free, fair, equitable and secret universal suffrage in accordance with the principles of multi-party liberal democracy," reported the daily Khmer Times, based in Phnom Penh.

About 9.7 million people are registered to vote in the Sunday elections between 18 political parties competing for 125 seats in the National Assembly.

General elections are held every five years to elect the members of the assembly, the lower chamber of parliament in Cambodia, which is a constitutional monarchy.

Hun Manet, son of Prime Minister Hun Sen and leader of the ruling Cambodian People's Party's (CPP), addressed around 60,000 party supporters on Friday during a campaign march in the Phnom Penh.

"The CPP has sufficient capabilities to lead the country to progress, especially to maintain political stability, peace, and development everywhere. The CPP has always refined its policies to meet the needs of progress in Cambodia," he said.

The CPP is seeking a seventh term for the incumbent Sen. The party has projected his son Hun Manet as its "future" candidate for the government chief's position.

Manet, a graduate of the US Military Academy, has served as commander of the Royal Cambodian Army since 2018.

Sen, 70, a former Khmer Rouge battalion deputy commander, has ruled Cambodia for 38 years.

The Sen-led CPP currently holds all seats in parliament.

The election commission approved the participation of 18 political parties in the political contest, including the ruling CPP.

However, it blocked the main opposition group, the Candlelight Party, from taking part in the upcoming elections over a paperwork-related issue.

The CPP has held power in Cambodia for the past four decades.

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