Cambodians will go to the polls on Sunday. This will be the fifth parliamentary election since the United Nations brokered a peace deal for Cambodia in 1991, a process meant to put an end to decades of bloodshed in the war-torn country.
Regrettably though, the election will be without Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy either as a candidate or a voter because he has missed the deadlines for voter and candidate registration which lapsed seven months ago. According to Article 49 of the Election Law, the registration list must be completed and approved by the National Election Committee between Oct 1 and Dec 31 each year.
After four years of self-imposed exile to escape jail terms from convictions on allegedly trumped-up charges, Sam Rainsy returned to Cambodia last week to the warm welcome of thousands of cheering supporters who turned up at the airport in Phnom Penh. His homecoming was made possible by a request from his arch-rival, Prime Minister Hun Sen, for a royal pardon from King Norodom Sihamoni.
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