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PHNOM PENH -- Political parties in Cambodia began on Saturday a three-week campaign for the general election scheduled to be held on July 23.
Eighteen political parties will contest in the forthcoming election for the 125-seat National Assembly, which will see more than 9.7 million people cast their ballots, according to the National Election Committee (NEC).
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, president of the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP), attended a rally held at the Diamond Island in capital Phnom Penh.
Addressing the rally, Hun Sen said the forthcoming election is a historical and important political event for the country, and that the CPP has approved its support for his re-election.
Hun Sen said the party's political program for 2023-2028 was designed to ensure the protection of peace and sustainability on the path of development and improvement of people's livelihood towards realizing Cambodia's vision of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2050.
He also promised the expansion of free health care for vulnerable people and free vocational and technical training for young people from poor and vulnerable families.
He added that the CPP will continue to build the friendship and cooperation between Cambodia and all countries, contributing to peace, stability, security, cooperation and prosperity in the region and the world, while opposing all forms of external interference.
The CPP has ruled the Southeast Asian country since 1979. In the last general election in 2018, the CPP won all 125 seats in the National Assembly.
On the opening day of the election campaign, other political parties including the Khmer National United Party and the Khmer Anti-Poverty Party also held rallies in other parts of the capital city.
The royalist Funcinpec Party will hold a rally with thousands of supporters in Phnom Penh on Sunday, according to the NEC.
The election campaign will last until July 21.