Cambodia calls on locals not to boycott general election hinh anh 1Cambodian people in Kandai province queue to make their votes during the senate election on February 25 (Source: Xinhua/VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) - The National Election Committee (NEC) of Cambodia on April 9 warned that anyone calling on the people to boycott the upcoming general election could be fined and face criminal charges.

An NEC statement said under the Law on Election of Members of the National Assembly, anyone preventing voters from casting ballots would be fined between 1,250 USD and 5,000 USD, and could also face criminal charges.

Meanwhile, the NEC called on eligible voters to vote on July 29, 2018 in order to exercise their rights to elect their leaders. 

The warning came a day after Sam Rainsy, leader of the now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), urged people to boycott the upcoming election if the CNRP was not allowed to participate. Sam Rainsy has been living in self-imposed exile in France since November 2015 to avoid at least eight-year-prison sentence for defamation and incitement cases.

In November last year, the Supreme Court of Cambodia ordered the dissolution of the CNRP after its leader Kem Sokha, Sam Rainsy's successor, was arrested on charged with "treason" for conspiring with a foreign power in an attempt to overthrow the government. 

Cambodian people will elect 125 parliamentarians during the upcoming election. According to the Ministry of Interior of Cambodia, the country has 37 recognised political parties, many of which have announced their participation in the election.-VNA