Cambodia parties in pre-poll push



Supporters of the ruling party are expecting a good result on Sunday

Political parties in Cambodia have been holding rallies in a final campaign push before Sunday's general election.
The polls, the fourth since decades of civil war ended, are widely expected to return Prime Minister Hun Sen to power.
His main challenger is former finance minister Sam Rainsy, but few believe he will oust the man who has led Cambodia for 23 years.
The polls are taking place amid heightened nationalist sentiment over a border dispute with Thailand.
Troops from the two countries are camped on territory both claim near the 11th Century temple of Preah Vihear, which earlier this month was listed by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.
Cambodia is due to hold talks with Thailand on the issue on Monday.

Economy key
Eleven parties are contesting the 27 July polls, but most believe the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) will secure another five-year term in power.
Under the Hun Sen-led CPP, Cambodia has achieved high growth - helped by revenue from the garment and tourist industries.




Q&A: Cambodian election

"The voters realise we did a lot - building roads, schools, health care and especially the economy," Phnom Penh Mayor Kep Chuktema told a CPP rally in the capital.
But the country is also experiencing soaring inflation and there is growing discontent over endemic corruption - both of which could favour opposition leader Sam Rainsy.
His eponymous Sam Rainsy Party currently holds 24 seats in the 123-seat parliament. The CPP has 73 and its coalition partner, royalist party Funcinpec, has 26.
Previous polls have been hit by violence. Scores of people - mainly opposition supporters and activists - were killed or beaten in the run-up to elections in 1998.
This one appears to be passing off comparatively smoothly, but rights groups have flagged up ruling party control of the media as a problem.
Human Rights Watch has also condemned the killing earlier this month of a journalist who wrote for a newspaper linked to the Sam Rainsy Party.
Both international and domestic monitors will be on hand to monitor the polls on Sunday.

BBC News