Last month’s elections in Cambodia should have dispelled any illusion that democracy – for long under attack – is even alive in the country.
The campaign, and subsequent ballot, was a tightly-controlled and stage-managed process, which deprived the country’s 9.7 million registered voters of a political alternative. It was mere theatre, and the result was entirely predictable.
Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won their preordained landslide in a contest in which they faced no credible opposition. The election was about paving the way for a handover of power from Hun Sen to his son, Hun Manet, and entrenching a dictatorship that has ruled the country for 38 years.