International community must not accept Cambodia’s ‘election’

Hun Sen is presenting facade of democracy to preserve CPP power.

Sam Rainsy is interim leader and co-founder of the Cambodia National Rescue Party and previously served as finance minister.

In theory, the election to be held in Cambodia in July should involve the possible loss of power by authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled the country for 38 years.

Indeed, anything would be possible if the Cambodian people were really allowed to choose their own future in free, fair, honest and democratic elections. But for an honest vote to take place, there cannot be systematic manipulation and falsification by authorities seeking to hide or distort the public will.

Since 1975, Cambodia has only had one real, honest election. The 1993 vote was organized by the United Nations. under the Paris Peace Accords reached two years earlier and saw the spectacular defeat of Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).

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