12 Jul 2013 11:19
PHNOM PENH, July 11 (Bernama) -- Some 20,546 national and 41 international observers have registered to monitor the fifth National Assembly elections on July 28, a National Election Committee (NEC) official said Thursday. The national observers are from 25 associations and non-governmental organisations while the international ones are from nine international institutions and foreign embassies, Xinhua news agency reported. Eight political parties will take part in the elections with 9.67 million Cambodians eligible to vote. A month-long election campaign kicked off on June 27 and will continue until July 26. Two main contesting parties are the ruling Cambodian People's Party of incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party led by self-exiled leader Sam Rainsy. Sam Rainsy, Hun Sen's main rival, fled the country in late 2009 before Cambodian court sentenced him to 11 years in prison in absentia. Last Saturday, Sam Rainsy announced on his Facebook page that he would return to Cambodia before the elections but did not specify the exact date. Hun Sen's party is widely expected to win the majority in the forthcoming elections. The country holds a general election every five years. During the last election in 2008, Hun Sen's party won 90 out of 123 seats in the National Assembly. --BERNAMA EE