February 26, 2021
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Strong grip
Political future of Cambodia The recent developments in Cambodian politics signal a troubled future for the country’s already volatile political legacy. Although the recent national elections declared yet another victory for Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian National Party (CNP), that has maintained its grip on power for two decades, there seems to be a break in the status-quo as the result has been challenged by the return of Cambodia’s veteran politician Sam Rainsy, head of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP). His return from exile has obviously stirred up the political atmosphere of the country. His decision to oppose and challenge the election result could potentially threaten the hegemonic character of Hun Sen’s rule, if not completely topple him, but little will change on the ground with respect to democratization of the electoral process in Cambodia. Unfortunately, opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s appeal against the election results felt on deaf ears as Hun Sen’s two decade long rule has transformed the country into an authoritarian government, due to his strong grip over state institutions. Even though regular elections have been held since the UN- administered transition in 1993, Hun Sen’s successive victories have only perpetuated and legitimated the status-quo. Hun Sen moved troops and armored vehicles into the capital after the opposition first threatened protests several weeks ago, sparki
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