Cambodia’s major opposition party vanished by SC

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s Supreme Court dissolved the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Thursday, giving Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party a clear run in a general election next year.

The court ruling, in response to a petition brought by the government, also banned 118 CNRP members from politics for five years.

The party denied the accusations as politically motivated. It did not send lawyers to Thursday’s court session.

FILE - In this Oct. 31, 2017, file photo, a supporter of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party wears a poster of party leader Kem Sokha as she stands outside the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The government accuses the Cambodia National Rescue Party of involvement in a plot to topple the government and has asked the judiciary to dissolve it. CNRP officials have denied the charges, saying they are politically motivated. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)

The verdict comes amid an increasingly tense political situation and a campaign by Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to crush the opposition ahead of the vote.

More than half the CNRP’s members of parliament have already fled Cambodia, fearing detention.

The 2018 election had been shaping as possibly the biggest challenge to Hun Sen’s leadership, after his opponents united behind the CNRP. They had made significant gains in local elections in June.

Source: Reuters

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