What was the real motivation behind the release of Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha from jail? That is among the key questions being posed by analysts attempting to discern the evolution of domestic politics in the country following elections in July, which predictably extended the rule of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) under Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Hun Sen himself has denied that Kem Sokha’s recent release from jail was due to “international pressure,” which had been the accusation leveled against the government. He has instead stated that Kem Sokha’s emplacement under house arrest was conducted for “humanitarian reasons; fearing that he may die in prison, that we decided to change the detention place. We try to save [the] life of the culprit.” He added that “it was just the change of the location of detention in case he dies in prison and causes trouble to the government.”