Small Parties Council Attempts to Obscure Hun Sen’s One-Party Political Dominance

The Cambodian People’s Party made a clean sweep of the National Assembly election on July 29, 2018, winning all 125 seats in parliament. The election was fought, as observers later put it, in the absence of a legitimate opposition party despite there being 19 other parties on the ballot.

Weeks later, on August 23, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the formation of the Supreme Council for Consultation and Recommendation to house all the small parties. In an instant, Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung was catapulted to the rank of senior minister and his four-month-old political party legitimized as an opposition entity, despite being rejected by the Cambodian electorate.

Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung, who is better known for his social media presence as William Guang, created the Khmer Rise Party just 90 days before the general election and secured a total of 0.35 percent of all votes, with even invalid and spoiled ballots totaling more votes than his party received.

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