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Cambodian opposition party likely to be outlawed in court ruling


Cambodian opposition party likely to be outlawed in court ruling

Cambodia opposition pic
Cambodia opposition pic
Photo: Ben Paviour/The Cambodia Daily

The Supreme Court will decide whether to outlaw the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) today.

The decision comes ahead of the 2018 national elections, which the CNRP is favoured to win. A crackdown by Prime Minister Hun Sen in recent months has intensified after the CNRP made gains in ruling CPP territory during June’s local elections.

The court is likely to dissolve the party on the basis of laws recently rushed through parliament that target the CNRP.

Anticipating unrest, authorities have mobilised to quell any disturbances around the country and have banned any protests at the courthouse itself. However, opposition supporters have largely been cowed after five protesters were killed in 2014 demonstrations.

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If the West follows through on threats of sanctions, it would debilitate the economy at large, but especially the tourism industry, which constitutes 28% of Cambodia’s GDP. Targeted sanctions on Mr Sen and his inner core are more likely. But unless opposition supporters reorganise in time for the 2018 elections, the strongman leader will likely return to office.

Delve Deeper: Testing Hun Sen: Cambodia’s opposition flees into exile

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