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Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen casts his vote during the general elections on Sunday. Photo: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump White House labeled Sunday's general elections in Cambodia as a sham, lambasting the exclusion of the country’s principal opposition party, "the government’s choice to disenfranchise millions of voters" and cautioned that the U.S. will consider additional steps to respond to the contest.

The backdrop: The Cambodian People’s Party declared victory on Sunday night, giving Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power since 1985, a landslide victory in an election that had no serious challengers, reports BBC News.

The country had its first multi-party elections in decades in 1993 after years of bloody war, thanks to a U.N. peacekeeping mission. Cambodia faced years of horror and upheaval when roughly 2 million people died between 1975 and 1979 under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. Sen was a former soldier in the Khmer Rouge, but later opposed them.

  • Sen has long been accused of using the judicial system and security forces to intimidate his critics, but allowed political opposition to his CPP party.
  • In November, Cambodia's Supreme Court dissolved the country's main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, after it was accused of plotting to overthrow the government. CNRP had denied the charges and said it was politically motivated.

Flashback: In February, the Trump administration said it would cut or suspend "several Treasury, USAID, and American military assistance programs" in Cambodia, citing "deep concern" over "recent setbacks to democracy. "

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.

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