Cambodia’s ruler starts campaigning with opponents silenced

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The official campaigning for the July 29 general election in Cambodia has begun with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party virtually assured victory after the only credible opposition party was dissolved last year.

Hun Sen, who has led the country for more than three decades, launched his Cambodian People’s Party’s campaign for the polls at a Saturday rally in Phnom Penh. His speech says if his government is returned to office, it would deliver continued economic development in one of the poorest nations in Asia.

The main opposition force, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, was dissolved last year by court order in what was generally considered a political maneuver by the ruling party. The opposition group’s members are urging a boycott of the election.

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