CAMBODIA'S ROADSIDE DEMOCRACY


On July 28, 2013, the Kingdom of Wonder held its fifth general elections. 


Momentum for the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party grew as self-exiled President Sam Rainsy returned to the capital just a week before voters headed to the polls. 


Prime Minister Hun Sen's 28-year rule was secured for another five years admist national and international condemnation. 


The lead up and aftermath of the election continued to be critized and questioned by local and international organizations alike, citing mass irregularities, voter fraud and political intimidation.


Ruling Cambodian People's Party took its seats in the National Assembly in September, amidst a determined opposition boycott. 

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Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife, Bun Rainy, cast their ballots at a polling station in Kandal province in July.
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CNRP supporters at a demonstration in Phnom Penh's Freedom Park in August.

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Municipal police stand guard as opposition leader Sam Rainsy returns to the kingdom after nearly five years of self-imposed exile.
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Thousands of opposition party supporters cheer during a 3-day mass demonstration in Phnom Penh's Freedom Park in September. The political rally, headed by CNRP leader Sam Rainsy, drew thousands of opposition supporters from around the country in protest of July's election results. 
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Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy, center, and deputy president Kem Sokha, left, greet supporters outside Phnom Penh International Airport in July. Over 10,000 supporters filled the streets outside the airport to greet Rainsy, whose return to Cambodia ended almost five years of self-imposed exile in France.
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Riot police secure a razor-wire barricade around the perimeter of the capital's Hun Sen Park in an attempt to protect the Prime Minister's home and to potentially intimidate opposition activists protesting the results of the election, in September. 

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CNRP supporters cheer as opposition leader Sam Rainsy returns to Phnom Penh International Airport one week before the Cambodian general election in July.
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Monks supporting the CNRP cheer during a mass rally rejecting the results of the general election in September. Similar political rallies took place in the capital's only government approved demonstration space, Freedom Park, for months following the election.
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Opposition supporters ride motorbikes through the capital's streets during a pre-election political rally in July.
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A voter displays her identification card as she waits in a queue at a polling station in Takmao in July. 
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Opposition supporters cross police barriers to join an early morning protest at the capital's Freedom Park in September. 
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A government official leaves a polling station after casting her ballot during the general elections in Phnom Penh in July. An election monitor explains that she must ink her finger after voting. 

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Cambodia People's Party youth hold ruling party flags along Sihanouk Boulevard in Phnom Penh during a pre-election political rally in July. Some students claim they were forced by their universities to attend the CPP rallies, while others say they were paid up to US $90 for a month of political campaigning.
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Riot police prepare to intervene during a demonstration that turned violent in the capital's Stung Meanchay district on election day.
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Opposition supporters organize themselves before attending a pre-election political rally in the capital in July.
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A voter scans a registration board for his name before casting his ballot at a polling station in Takmao in July. Many opposition voters claim that though they had received confirmation of their voter registration, their names were nowhere to be found on election day.
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Opposition supporters and city-dwellers attempt to move through razor wire police barricades which hindered movement around the capital in September. 


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A veteran voter proudly displays her inked finger after casting her ballot at a polling station in Kandal province in July.
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CNRP youth chant anti-Vietnamese sentiments during a demonstration outside a polling station in Phnom Penh on election day in July. The opposition has been criticized for using racist rhetoric and nationalistic xenophobia to draw in young voters.

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Monks look on as angry voters protest in front of a polling station near the Stung Meanchay pagoda in Phnom Penh in July. 

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An opposition supporter throws a ruling CPP party slogan into a military vehicle that was set ablaze by angry protesters in the capital's Stung Meanchay district on election day in July.
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A security guard sleeps outside the home of ruling party supporters as post-election violence escalates in the capital's Daun Penh district.

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