Cambodia's Constitutional Council rejects opposition party's appeal to stand in July 2023 elections

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On May 25, Cambodia's Constitutional Council rejected an appeal by the country’s main opposition party against its disqualification from the July elections, Reuters reported.

Over a week ago, the Candlelight Party’s registration for the July elections was formally rejected by the country’s National Election Committee (NEC), according to local media CamboJA News.

The NEC claimed that the opposition party had failed to submit its 1998 original registration letter, based on a statement cited by the media outlet.

In response to the disqualification, prominent opposition figure Sam Rainsy, who is living in self-imposed exile, said that it would be "a joke to refer to Cambodia as a democracy," according to an earlier report by Reuters.

The Candlelight Party had been given five days to appeal NEC's decision, but its appeal was eventually dismissed.

This means that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will likely not face opposition in the upcoming elections, and it will be the second election in which the opposition has been barred from running, according to Reuters.

18 other parties have registered for the elections, according to Al Jazeerabut Candlelight is seen as the sole "credible" opposition party.

Candlelight Party

The party was founded in 1995 as the Khmer Nation Party, renamed as the Sam Rainsy Party in 1998 and most recently in 2018 as the Candlelight Party.

It is also the reincarnation of the popular Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) w...

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