>Cambodia’s Hun Sen set to dominate polls

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The CPP’s trio: Heng Samrin, Chea Sim and Hun Sen at the launch of the election campaign on 26th June, 2008.

Agence France Presse

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian political parties are staging raucous rallies throughout the country ahead of next week’s polls, but few expect voters to oust the party that has ruled for three decades. The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has undermined its political rivals and is expected to dominate the July 27 poll, extending Prime Minister Hun Sen’s 23-year grip on power.

Although it appears assured of victory, the CPP has mounted a massive campaign, parading in shiny black SUVs while covering the country with posters and the airwaves with promises of further development. “People are asking why such an effort? The extra effort they are making is to ensure an absolute majority,” said political analyst Chea Vannath. About 8.1 million people are registered to vote at 15,000 polling stations, under the eyes of more than 13,000 domestic and international observers.

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