Two Cambodian opposition party members have been arrested for allegedly inciting voters to spoil ballots, officials said Saturday, ahead of a national vote in which long-serving leader Hun Sen is effectively running unopposed.
Ly Ry and Bun Kheit of the opposition Candlelight Party were arrested on Friday for "inciting people to destroy ballots", interior ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said.
Authorities did not provide details on the allegations against the pair, but the spokesman said authorities had "enough evidence" against them.
The kingdom votes in a general election on July 23 with Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party running almost unopposed after the Candlelight Party, its main challenger, was barred from contesting on a technicality.
Candlelight Party spokesman Kimsour Phirith said he did not know when the two arrested officials issued the call to protest.
"We are monitoring the case," he told AFP.
Recent election law amendments, ordered by Hun Sen to counter calls for a poll boycott by opposition activists, ban anyone who fails to vote in the upcoming vote from running in future elections.
Obstructing the voting process or calling for voters to spoil ballots is also a criminal offence.
Rights groups accuse Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for nearly four decades, of using the legal system to crush any opposition to his rule.
Hun Sen is campaigning for re-election but is expected to pass on the leadership to his eldest son, Hun Manet, in the future.
Scores of opposition politicians have been convicted and jailed during his time in power.
Opposition leader Kem Sokha was in March convicted of treason and sentenced to 27 years in prison over an alleged plot to topple Hun Sen's government. He is currently serving his sentence under house arrest.
Another opposition figure, Sam Rainsy, has been living in exile in France since 2015 to avoid prison for convictions he says are politically motivated.