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Politics

With connectivity boom, Cambodia's political battles shift online

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A person uses a smartphone to look at the Facebook page of Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen on Oct. 7.   © Reuters

PHNOM PENH -- In September 2015, a Facebook page bearing the name of Prime Minister Hun Sen notched up its millionth "like." Until then, the long-serving Cambodian leader had denied ever using social media, making fun of political rivals, like opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who were active online. But with its following now in seven figures, Hun Sen finally not only admitted the page was his but began to promote it.

     "We started it first as a test," Sok Eysan, a spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People's Party, told local media. "Then we saw that it has attracted popularity and is very popular among citizens, so we made it official to widen communication between top leaders and the people."

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