Cambodia-Election 4thLd-Writethru 07-27 Web

Ruling party claims landslide

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party claimed it had sealed a landslide victory in parliamentary elections Sunday that were expected to usher in a new term for the former Khmer Rouge soldier who has ruled for 23 years.

Hun Sen’s popularity at the polls was buoyed by a surge of nationalism amid a tense border dispute with neighboring Thailand.

The 57-year-old Hun Sen’s reputation as a strongman served him well in the campaign, with voters rallying around the leader as Cambodian troops faced off with Thai soldiers for a second week at a disputed 11th century Hindu temple.

In power since 1985, Hun Sen is Asia’s longest-serving leader. He was expected to win the vote even before the military standoff escalated earlier this month. Passions over the Preah Vihear temple and Hun Sen’s firm stance against Thailand have swayed many undecided voters in his favor.

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