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Ben Paviour

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Kem Sokha Tours Country Gathering Post-Election Feedback

Taking stock of his party’s June commune elections losses, CNRP president Kem Sokha has embarked on a countrywide tour to gather feedback and intelligence the party can use to steer its national election campaign, party officials said on Tuesday.

Ministry Says Most NGOs Ignore Govt Requirements

Only 200 of some 5,000 domestic NGOs have submitted required banking details to the Interior Ministry, its spokesman said on Monday, as the government steps up enforcement of tax requirements on organizations that may have racked up huge unpaid bills.

Tourism Ministry Site Hacked With Viagra Pitch

The Tourism Ministry’s website was hacked and injected with text promoting the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra as late as Saturday, making it the latest government body to succumb to a cyberattack.

Government Digs Into Tax Returns of NGOs, Cambodia Daily

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet recommended a new investigation into alleged unpaid payroll taxes at civil society organizations on Friday, according to notes from the meeting.

US Answers Citizenship Threat by PM

The U.S. Embassy has responded to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s threat to revoke his grandchild’s citizenship, saying it could not confirm whether any of his grandchildren in fact held U.S. citizenship, but directed him to the U.S. State Department website for help in case he wanted to follow through.

Prime Minister Threatens the Opposition, NGOs With Dissolution

The opposition party’s headquarters could be attacked and the party dissolved if it stages any demonstrations, while foreign-funded NGOs should “retreat” or face the same fate for violating the law, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday.

Human Rights Watch Calls for Loose-Lipped Minister’s Firing

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said he did not believe Social Affairs Minister Vong Sauth would face any disciplinary action after he repeated the gist of a seemingly confidential CPP meeting, including an alleged threat by Prime Minister Hun Sen to beat protesters with bamboo sticks.

Assembly Rejects Lawmaker’s Request for Sand Mining Info

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay’s request for clarity on Cambodia’s sand trade will not be forwarded to Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem because it does not comply with National Assembly rules, a parliamentary spokesman said on Tuesday.

CPP’s Election Strategy: Cash, Power, Beatings, Minister Says

The CPP will win the next election using money and muscle and will beat and lock up its foes, Social Affairs Minister Vong Sauth said in a strikingly candid speech on Monday, citing instructions given by Prime Minister Hun Sen to senior party officials.

Government To Monitor Sam Rainsy’s Facebook Page

The Interior Ministry plans to monitor the Facebook page of former opposition president Sam Rainsy for violations of newly passed amendments to the Law on Political Parties, which will also force the CNRP to spend upwards of half a million dollars to erase his image from its signs.

Cabinet Schedules First Meeting in Seven Weeks

The Council of Ministers, with Prime Minister Hun Sen at the helm, will convene on Friday, according to a statement released on Monday, breaking a seven-week streak without meetings that fueled rumors about Mr. Hun Sen’s health.

What’s in a Name? SRP Faces Rebranding

Controversial amendments to the Law on Political Parties have steamrolled through the legislative process and are likely to be signed into law this week, kicking up a chorus of concerns from the opposition, civil society and international rights groups.

Missed Cabinet Meetings Fuel Illness Rumors

Cambodia’s Cabinet has not held its constitutionally mandated weekly meeting since June 16, fueling speculation about Prime Minister Hun Sen’s health and confusion over why officials have forgone the meetings.

King Flies Out Of Country, Dodging Party Law Signing

King Norodom Sihamoni left the country on Sunday just as he was expected in the coming days to be called to sign a controversial set of changes to the Law on Political Parties that critics call unconstitutional.

Global Fund Donates $98M Despite Graft Investigation

Global Fund will provide $98 million to fight malaria, tuberculosis and AIDs from 2018 to 2020, an official said on Thursday, with the donor seemingly banking on improved oversight to prevent alleged government fraud and nepotism it described as recently as March.

CNRP to Ask King to Snub New Party Law Changes

The CNRP is expected today to urge King Norodom Sihamoni to withhold his signature from a set of changes to the Law on Political Parties designed to sideline opposition figure Sam Rainsy.

Moody’s: CPP Focus on Power Threatens Economic Gains

New amendments to the Law on Political Parties are “a setback to efforts to strengthen governance,” bringing the possibility of political instability that could imperil Cambodia’s economy, U.S. ratings agency Moody’s said in an unusually critical report.

CNRP Officials Fly to Visit Rainsy as Party Turns Five

Senior members of the CNRP traveled to Hong Kong over the weekend to meet with exiled opposition figure Sam Rainsy ahead of the promulgation of a law designed to sever Mr. Rainsy’s ties to his former party on the eve of its fifth anniversary.

Hun Sen Hits Back at Rumors of Illness With Selfies, City Drives

Prime Minister Hun Sen continued to fight off Facebook rumors that he was unwell and seeking treatment abroad over the weekend, making his case using video selfies and photographs of a casual Sunday drive.

The Provocateur

He had led the CNRP through a contentious national election, a doomed detente and a fresh round of lawsuits that sent him packing for Paris. Then, in February, with the CPP on the verge of passing legislation that would punish the CNRP for his court cases, Mr. Rainsy stepped down as party president.

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Minor Opposition Parties Speak Out Against Calls for Election Boycott

Several minor opposition parties who have registered to stand in the upcoming national election have expressed concern over calls from the country’s former main opposition party for a boycott of the vote.

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