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Politics

Cambodia's reborn opposition under pressure ahead of local polls

EU has warned nation could face further sanctions in event of unfair election

Cambodia's Candlelight Party supporters marching during the campaign for the June 5 communal elections in Phnom Penh on May 21.   © AP

PHNOM PENH -- A renewed grassroots force in Cambodian politics is taking on Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party in nationwide local elections this weekend, thereby becoming the latest target of a crackdown on opponents that has intensified in recent years.

The Candlelight Party has emerged as the biggest opposition force to Hun Sen, who has ruled the country for 37 years. Its candidates will challenge the prime minister's Cambodian People's Party (CPP) in 1,623 of the 1,652 local government bodies known as communes, or sangkats, on June 5.

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