Jul 29, 2018

White House "profoundly disappointed" in "flawed" Cambodia election

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. "

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.

Coronavirus spreads to Africa as U.S. soldier in South Korea tests positive

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, as the outbreak spreads to more countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health