Ruling party won national election that excluded opposition and leader Hun Sen announced resignation after 38 years in power.
PM Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) claimed “landslide” victory in national elections held 23 July. U.S. same day called polls “neither free nor fair” and EU next day criticised elections that were held in “restricted political and civic space” and “excluded important sectors of the opposition”; Election Commission in May had ruled that main opposition Candlelight Party could not partake in polls on “concocted administrative grounds”, according to Human Rights Watch. Hun Sen 26 July announced resignation as PM after almost four decades in power and intention to hand position to his son Hun Manet on 10 August, but said he would continue as head of ruling party.
The violent border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia earlier this year have challenged the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to turn its rhetoric into action, but to achieve peace and security more robust diplomacy is required to end a still unresolved conflict.
Almost a decade after the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements, Cambodia is at peace and the government is at last secure enough to contemplate the trials of some Khmer Rouge leaders.
The international community collectively heaved a sigh of relief when Cambodia’s rival factions moved back from the brink of disaster and agreed to form a fresh coalition government in November 1998 after weeks of violent protests and political deadlock.
Cambodia’s electoral process re-lit the candle of democracy that had first flickered into flame with the restoration of peace in 1991, after more than two decades of strife.
Cambodia is set to take to the polls in barely six weeks time, with some fearing the elections will cement in place a de facto dictatorship and others seeing them as the last chance to ensure that the country’s fledgling democratic process remains on track.
This report studies the background to the latest crisis affecting the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia. It examines current conditions in the country, assesses the key issues requiring redress and offers a number of specific recommendations for international policy-makers aimed at shoring up political stability
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