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PM Leaks Internal Candlelight Party Messages

PHNOM PENH: The Prime Minister of Cambodia leaked internal messages from the Phnom Penh Candlelight Party (CP) led by Chea Poch, who seems to be ready to take action.

Chea Poch, who was rushed to an emergency room in Thailand with a heart condition on Sunday, took time to converse with his team in Phnom Penh after the CP was refused registration by the National Election Committee (NEC) for the upcoming general elections in July. In the party’s Telegram group, he instructed party members to be ready for instructions from CP officials.

Prime Minister Hun Sen intercepted this message from a member of the Candlelight Party, whose Telegram group only has 50 members. The PM said, “It is not eavesdropping. The Candle Party officials gave it to me, just like before. Please see the correspondence and speeches of Chea Poch from Bangkok at 4 pm yesterday. We're waiting to see what they will do.”

As of May 15, 2023, the NEC has approved the registration of a total of 18 parties that have submitted sufficient and correct documents in accordance with the requirements of the law. The major opposition Candlelight Party is the only party whose application to participate in the general election was outright rejected.

The CP’s request has been rejected twice, after the party submitted and then re-submitted the same photocopied registration certificates, which did not meet the NEC’s requirements that the original registration from 1998 be provided.

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