Does the latest Gallup poll tell all?

A survey of opinion in Cambodia published by Gallup in August shows the impossibility of trying to gauge the views of the public under a dictatorship determined to stamp out any trace of dissent.

The survey finds high levels of confidence in Cambodia’s military and financial institutions, both scoring 82%. “In many ways,” Gallup concludes, “the Cambodia that Hun Manet is inheriting is a stable one, with widespread confidence in institutions and satisfaction with key services.”

Hun Manet took over as prime minister from his father Hun Sen in August. Gallup does not present the findings as being an opinion poll. It has no choice, as opinion polls are banned in Cambodia. Gallup does not have the right to ask questions concerning approval of leadership, or the government, or confidence in the judicial system. There is no way in the survey for respondents to express criticism of the government, or support for the opposition.

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