Both the ruling Cambodian People's Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party saw huge turnouts during campaigning on Friday, the last official day before Sunday's national parliamentary elections. Cambodian elections typically have a day of quiet before Election Day, drawing supporters out into the streets as candidates declared their intentions for governance. The CPP had a major campaign push in Prey Veng province, in the east, where it won all 11 seats in the province in 2008. (Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)
Thousands of people have been evicted from their homes to make way for a Chinese development in Koh Kong province. But some of the families have returned to their land, leaving a relocation site they say was insufficient for their needs. Meanwhile, work continues on the massive development, undertaken by the Chinese Union Development Group, to build a resort and casino on some 36,000 hectares of land along the pristine coast. Second of a two-part series. (Say Mony, Koh Kong province)
Thousands of families in the remote coastal province of Koh Kong have been evicted or are facing eviction in the face of a Chinese resort development project. Some families have moved unwillingly to relocation sites. Some are refusing to leave, setting the stage for another land dispute. The families are facing eviction from a 36,000-hectare resort development by the Chinese Union Development Group, which holds a 99-year lease on the land. Chinese hydrodam developments have already damaged major parts of Koh Kong, home to the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia’s richest source of biodiversity. The resort adds to the difficulties facing residents of the province, which has also seen major evictions and disputes rising from the growth of a massive sugar plantation. Part one of a two-part series. (Say Mony, Koh Kong)
Youth representatives from six political parties running in upcoming parliamentary election joined an International Republican Institute-organized debate over the weekend to show their respective parties' policies. However, some audiences say the Cambodian People's Party had arranged their dominant supporters to cheer when its candidate had to speak, disrupting the debate. (Say Mony, Phnom Penh)
On Arrival standing in the back of a truck and waving to supporters, Cambodia opposition leader Sam Rainsy addressed the crowd, defending his innocence and saying he was now “clean.” Sam Rainsy returned to the country on Friday after more than three years of self-imposed exile. VOA Khmer's Kong Sothanarith reports from Phnom Penh.
Cambodia's opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, returned to the country on Friday after more than three years of self-imposed exile. However, the criminal charges against him made him ineligible to vote or run for office. But following last week's royal pardon, some analysts say there is still hope that the National Election Committee will allow for his participation in the election through a political compromise. VOA's Men Kimseng interviewed Sam Rainsy on a special show on Friday on his plan to lead his party to victory.
Cambodia's opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, returned to the country on Friday after more than three years of self-imposed exile, kneeling to kiss the ground after he landed and addressing throngs of supporters who crowded Phnom Penh's parks and boulevards to greet him. "We go together to rescue the country," he told the crowd. "I am here to rescue you all." Sam Rainsy was given a royal pardon last week, absolving him of charges he said were politically motivated and allowing for his return ahead of elections July 28. (VOA Khmer់'s Say Mony reporters from Phnom Penh)
With Sam Rainsy expected to return to Cambodia on Friday, experts say there are a number of scenarios that could put him as a candidate for the July 28 election. Sam Rainsy, who is the leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, received a royal pardon for a number of crimes last week, paving the way for his return. But NEC officials have said he remains ineligible to vote in or contest the upcoming elections. Sok Khemara, VOA Khmer
The US State Department on Friday welcomed news that opposition leader Sam Rainsy has received a royal pardon, allowing for his return to Cambodia ahead of the July 28 elections. But in a Friday media briefing, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also urged Cambodia to continue reforms to ensure a credible election, including the implementation of 18 separate recommendations made by the UN’s special rights envoy to Cambodia, Surya Subedi. Pin Sisovann, Washington.