Almost all of the observers of the local or communal elections held in Cambodia on June 5 have spoken of a “crushing victory” for Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and a heavy defeat for the opposition. I would like to give another interpretation of the results, starting with an exercise in political logic.
Imagine the case of a political party with the following characteristics:
- Until just a few months before the day of the vote, the party had lost all of its human and material resources and had been simply an empty, abandoned shell for 10 years.
- During this ten-year period, the leader and founder of the party was forced out of the country for eight years and remains in exile. He is considered a “convict” whose name must not be mentioned. All the other former leaders of the party are also banned from politics.
- This party, decapitated and drained of its lifeblood, further faces the constant threat of formal dissolution, a death sentence that the authorities could carry out at any moment.