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Hun Sen Discourages Election Violence

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday called for all competing parties for July’s election to avoid violence, but observers say such advisories are rarely taken seriously at lower levels of power.

Hun Sen said at a ceremony Monday respect for the rule of law is the best way to reduce violations during the election period.

Election observers and other party officials say violence is not likely to disappear from this election.

Sam Rainsy Party Secretary-General Eng Chhay Ieng said such warnings were rarely heard by Hun Sen’s low-ranking officials, and it is those officials who pose a threat.

The National Election Committee has approved 11 parties to compete in the general elections.

Norodom Ranariddh Party Deputy Secretary-General Thav Kimhor agreed with Hun Sen’s warning, but said so far his party had already had people killed.

Keo Remy, vice president of the Human Rights Party, said Monday he worried election violence could not be prevented.