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Top challenger in Cambodian polls awaiting official approval

KEYT

By SOPHENG CHEANG
Associated Press

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia’s National Election Committee has announced that 20 political parties have registered for July’s general election but nine of them still have not been approved, including the Candlelight Party, the sole credible challenger to the governing Cambodian People’s Party. About 9.7 million Cambodians are registered to vote in the July 23 election to select the 123 members of the National Assembly. Prime Minister Hun Sen and his entrenched Cambodian People’s Party are certain to easily top the polls, holding all the advantages of incumbency. If the Candlelight Party is not allowed to contest the July polls, the sole competition for the governing party would be groups aligned with it, or small, obscure parties without a national presence.

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