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PM Leaks Opposition Voice Message

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen leaked a voice message detailing the opposition’s preparations for an attack campaign against him and the National Election Committee (NEC), which he labelled a poisonous separatist ploy that will only damage the opposition party.

The PM wrote on his Telegram channel on the morning of May 31 that the plot to drive a wedge between him and Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheang is ineffective and will only serve to hurt the Candlelight Party further.

"This is the plan of three generations of traitors that even Malaysia expelled from their country," he said. While the PM rarely mentions exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy by name, he often refers to him as a “third generation traitor” citing his family’s history of opposition.

The PM reminded the opposition groups that the NEC is an independent institution that makes its decisions regardless of the opinion of the PM or the DPM.

In a six-minute audio message that PM leaked, opposition activist Chham Chhany can be heard ordering an attack ad be produced calling out the PM and the NEC for refusing to allow the Candlelight Party to participate in the upcoming elections. At the end of the message, he orders the condemnation of the Cambodian government.

Speaking at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a bridge crossing the Tonle Sap on the morning of May 31, the PM warned Chham Chany to be careful, as the government was aware of the opposition's plans.

The NEC rejected the Candlelight Party’s application to participate in the upcoming general elections on May 15, citing insufficient paperwork. The party submitted a photocopy of their original 1998 registration twice, saying that the original had been lost in a raid and that they had not been able to obtain a new one. The PM recently rebuffed this excuse, saying that the Candlelight Party was simply trying to gain international attention from foreign parties that wish to oppress Cambodians.

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