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Cambodia wakes to another era of Hun Sen rule after 'flawed' election

PHNOM PENH - Cambodia woke on Monday to another chapter of rule by strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen, a day after a general election in which his Cambodian People's Party (CPP) declared victory but one which rights groups said was neither free nor fair.
The White House said it would consider steps, including an expansion of visa restrictions placed on some Cambodian government members, in response to "flawed elections" in which there was no significant challenger to Hun Sen.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said on Sunday the party won an estimated 100 out of 125 parliamentary seats. The DAP news, a pro-government website, said later the CPP had won 114 seats. Two other parties, the royalist Funcinpec party and the League for Democracy Party, won five and six seats respectively.
More than 82 percent of those registered to vote cast a ballot, according to the National Election Commission. Turnout was 90 percent in the 2017 local election and 69.61 percent in the previous general election in 2013.
Critics say the election was a backward step for democracy in Cambodia following the dissolution last year of the main opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and the jailing of its leader, Kem Sokha, on treason charges.
Former CNRP president Sam Rainsy, who lives in exile, said the election was a "hollow" victory for Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander who has ruled Cambodia for nearly 33 years.
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