South Asia and Beyond

Cambodian Elections: A Shadowed Victory

NEW DELHI: The recent Cambodian elections held on Sunday have sparked international criticism and condemnation.

The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, claimed a landslide victory with 120 out of 125 parliamentary seats, while the only credible opposition party, the Candlelight Party, was disqualified from contesting the election. The transfer of power from father to son, Hun Manet is also expected in coming weeks as CPP is extending its grip on political power in Cambodia.

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The U.S. State Department and regional human rights groups have accused Cambodian authorities of engaging in a pattern of threats and harassment against the political opposition, media, and civil society, which led to an unfair and undemocratic electoral process. The U.S. has taken steps to impose sanctions on individuals and cut certain aid programs.

The election results and the way it was conducted raise serious questions about the state of democracy and human rights in Cambodia,

The growing ties between Cambodia and China, which has provided significant investment, military aid, and diplomatic support, have raised concerns about Cambodia’s increasing tilt towards an authoritarian path.


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