PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) -- Cambodia's national election body has rejected a late bid by the country's opposition leader to register as a candidate and vote in next week's general election.
The National Election Committee said in a letter Monday to Sam Rainsy, head of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, that he had missed the deadlines for both running and voting in the July 28 polls.
Rainsy returned from self-imposed exile last week after his archrival, Prime Minister Hun Sen, arranged to pardon him for convictions that would have put him in prison for 11 years.
Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party is expected to maintain its large majority in parliament, but the vast and enthusiastic crowds that greeted Rainsy's return on Friday suggest the opposition may make its strongest showing ever.
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