Cambodia votes in national election

Cambodia votes in national election

Premier Hun Sen's party expected to clinch easy victory

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) - Voting in Cambodia 's national elections is under way, with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) expected to rake in a landslide victory.

The national vote, which critics see as the least free and fair in decades, started at 7 a.m. local time (00:00 GMT) and will continue until 3 p.m. (0800 GMT).

According to the National Election Commission, there are more than 9.7 million eligible voters nationwide.

The incumbent premier cast his ballot in Kandal province’s Takhmao town, just outsides the capital. “I’ve cast my vote,” he tweeted.

Aside from the long-ruling CPP, some 17 small parties are also running in the elections, however, none of Hun Sen's opponents is posing a serious challenge to his decades-long leadership.

The CPP is expected to sweep all 125 seats in the parliament to rule the Pacific nation of 16 million people for yet another five-year term.

The only credible challenger – the Candlelight Party – was disqualified from participating in the elections on technical grounds in May, a move blasted by the opposition.

The former Khmer Rouge guerrilla, 70, has led Cambodia for 38 years. He is expected to hand the premiership to his oldest son, Hun Manet, who heads the country's army.

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