Cambodia’s opposition leader on Saturday denounced signs of voter fraud on the eve of elections and labelled Prime Minister Hun Sen a “coward” for not allowing him to participate. Sam Rainsy said his party had uncovered irregularities such as tens of thousands of duplicated voter names that would allow some people to cast ballots twice in Sunday’s polls. He also alleged that the ink used for voting could be washed off. “We are going backward in terms of election fairness,” Rainsy told reporters. “More people will vote for us,” he said. “But I suspect the ruling party, knowing this, will cheat more, will cheat like mad.” Local and international rights groups have also voiced concerns about reports of irregularities.
Rainsy returned to Cambodia on July 19 from self imposed exile in France after receiving a surprise royal pardon for criminal convictions which he contends were politically motivated. But he is barred from running as a candidate since the authorities said it was too late to add his name to the electoral register.
“It is very unfair,” he said of the refusal to allow him to stand. “If the prime minister wants to keep his position he must be brave enough to confront me,” Rainsy added. “It’s very unfair and shows that the current prime minister is really a coward.”
Rainsy, seen as the only major challenger to Hun Sen, had faced a total of 11 years in jail but was pardoned by King Sihamoni earlier this month at the prime minister’s request.
Full Article: Cambodian opposition point to voter fraud | eNCA.